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[443] that is rather remarkable, in the light of his subsequent reports, when he accounts for his enormous losses by saying that, during all the campaign, he had to attack Lee protected by breastworks. His dispatch concludes: ‘At present we can claim no victory over the enemy, neither have they gained a single advantage. The enemy pushed out of his fortifications to prevent their position being turned, and have been sooner or later driven back in every instance. Up to this hour the enemy have not shown themselves in force within a mile of our lines.’ He does not say that he had withdrawn his lines, in many places, and thus secured the mile of interval that he mentions.

Well-nigh exhausted by the desperate struggles of May 5th and 6th, each army was quite content to rest behind its defenses, care for its wounded and bury its dead, during the 7th; neither caring to again attempt to carry the breastworks of the other, each formidable with well-placed artillery. Grant, having now found out that Lee was still willing to give battle ‘this side of Richmond,’ for which information he had paid dearly by the loss of 17,000 men, now attempted, by a sidling movement to the left, to steal by Lee and renew his interrupted march toward the Confederate capital. To open the way for this, his cavalry, during the 7th, pressed southward on the Brock road, where Fitz Lee held them in sharp contention, and on the Catharpin road, where they were equally well met by Hampton's division. He also gave orders for a night march by the Fifth corps, under Warren, along the Brock road, in the rear of Hancock's well fortified line, which the latter was to continue to hold, to Spottsylvania Court House; while Sedgwick, withdrawing from Ewell's front after dark, was to march eastward to Chancellorsville, and then southward to Piney Branch church, and Burnside was to withdraw from Hill's front, and, marching to the eastward of Chancellorsville, then turn south, thus covering the road to Fredericksburg, in his rear, along which Grant was sending his wounded to Aquia creek, and by which he had communication with his base of supplies, which he had now shifted to the same point on the Potomac.

These movements, during the night of the 7th, would leave two corps in front of Lee and withdraw two farther to the east. Grant and Meade were apprehensive, during

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