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[607] and indeed left Grant not a single branch of generalship in which he might assert his reputation.

For some time after the mine explosion, but little was done by the Federals in front of Petersburg. In the remaining months of summer and autumn, some maneuvers were executed with more or less breadth of design, which may be briefly stated here in the order of their occurrence.

On the 18th and 19th August, Grant's left under Warren, after a defeat on the first day, succeeded in holding the Weldon Railroad. This line of communication with the South was not of any great importance to Gen. Lee, as long as he held the road to Danville, the main avenue to the fertile grain districts of the South. A series of severe actions, however, ensued to break Warren's hold upon the road; and he maintained his position only after a loss which he himself officially reports as 4,455 killed, wounded, and missing. Meanwhile Hancock's corps was brought in rear of the position held by Warren, and ordered to destroy a southward section of the road. On the 25th August, this force was encountered at Reams' station by A. P. Hill's corps under Wilcox, Heth, and Mahone. A vigorous attack of Heth broke the enemy's line, and drove a division which was in reserve, while one line of breastworks was carried by the Confederate cavalry under Gen. Hampton. The results of the day were, twelve stands of colours captured, and nine pieces of artillery, ten caissons, 2,150 prisoners, and 3,100 stand of small-arms. The Confederate loss was, in cavalry, artillery, and infantry, 720 men, killed, wounded, and missing. Warren, however, still continued to hold the Weldon railroad; but after a sum of disaster, as we have seen, that was a very extravagant price, compared with the little real importance of the acquisition. The road was permanently retained by the enemy; and he now proceeded to form a line of redoubts connecting the new position with the old left of the army on the Jerusalem plank road.

About the close of September, attention was again drawn to operations north of James River, and a movement on Gen. Butler's front resulted in a serious disaster to the Confederates, and, it must be confessed, accomplished one real success for this ill-stared General in the operations against Richmond. On the night of the 28th September, Butler crossed to the north side of the James, with the corps of Birney and Ord, and moved up the river with the design of attacking the very strong fortifications and entrenchments below Chapin's farm. known as Fort Harrison. A portion of Butler's force was moved on the Newmarket road, and while a severe engagement was occurring there, a column of the enemy made a flank movement on Fort Harrison, and practically succeeded in surprising this important work, which surrendered after a very feeble resistance on the part of the artillery, and while a force of Confederates was on the double-quick to reinforce it.

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