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‘ [471] Smith's) carried forward their approaches. Hancock's lines were thus brought within some 40 yards of the rebel works;’ and again at 4 p. m. of the 9th: ‘Our engineers, under General Barnard, are now at work on an inner line of intrenchments to cover the withdrawal of the army from this position.’

Informed of Hunter's progress up the Valley and the results of the battle of Piedmont, on the 5th of June, and of Hunter's junction with Crook, from the Kanawha region, at Staunton, on the 8th, Lee detached Breckinridge's division on the 10th, to prevent Hunter from crossing the Blue ridge toward Charlottesville and destroying the Virginia Central railroad, thus again anticipating and interfering with Grant's plan of campaign. On the 8th, Butler sent a body of cavalry and infantry to capture Petersburg and destroy the bridges across the Appomattox. Grant says of this movement, in his official report: ‘The cavalry carried the works on the south side and penetrated well in toward the town, but were forced to retire. General Gillmore, finding the works which he approached very strong, and deeming an assault impracticable, returned to Bermuda Hundred without attempting one.’ Thus failed the first Federal attempt to capture the ‘Cockade City.’

On the 7th of June, Grant sent, as he reports, ‘two divisions of cavalry, under General Sheridan, on an expedition against the Virginia Central railroad, with instructions to Hunter, whom I hoped he would meet near Charlottesville, to join his forces to Sheridan's, and, after the work laid out for them was thoroughly done, to join the army of the Potomac by the route laid down in Sheridan's instructions.’ This raid of Sheridan was met by Hampton's cavalry at Trevilian's station of the Virginia Central (now Chesapeake & Ohio) railroad, on the 12th, .and after a hotly-contested battle that lasted several hours, Sheridan was forced to retreat to Grant's rear, without having accomplished the mission on which he was sent.

Notwithstanding the assertions of Grant, previously quoted, as to the condition and tactical operations of the army of Northern Virginia, Lee, on the 12th of June, before Grant began drawing back from his front to retreat to the James, ordered his Second corps, now in command of Lieut.-Gen. Jubal Anderson Early (General

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