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[489] intrench their advanced positions. Next day siege operations were begun, with a view to carry the defences of the Chickahominy by regular approaches. But this work also, at the end of a few days, ceased, and General Grant determined to change his line of operations to the south side of the James River. The circumstances under which this determination was made, and the manner in which it was carried into execution, will be detailed in the succeeding campaign.

Vii. Observations on the overland campaign.

The course of this narrative has already set forth the series of operations, remarkable in the history of warfare, by which, in one pregnant month, the Army of the Potomac fought its way to the Chickahominy.

The campaign indeed resembled less ordinary campaigns than a kind of running siege. From the Rapidan to the Chickahominy the face of the country was covered with the intrenched lines, within which these ‘points of mighty opposites,’ the Armies of the Potomac and of Northern Virginia, had waged a succession of deadly conflicts. At every advance, Lee was able to meet his adversary with a front of opposition, and within his improvised strongholds exact a heavy price in blood. And although the illustrious valor of the Army of the Potomac more than once plucked victors from the jaws of hell, and bayoneted an unyielding enemy in the very enceinte of his citadel, the Union commander was never able to crush his opponent, who, thrown again and again in the mighty wrestle, each time rose quickly to his feet. Foiled in the effort to force a direct issue, General Grant, at the end of each combat, initiated a movement to turn the hostile front; and these flanking operations were executed with much address—throwing the Confederates successively

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