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[519] Wilson's raid had been one of pillage, and he well merited the punishment he received at Reams' Station,

Early's Valley campaign and his advance on Washington, brought confusion to Grant's plans, in the early part of July, as narrated in the preceding chapter, and compelled him to organize a large force, under Sheridan, to look after Early, while he continued to hold his wellfor-tified lines and intrenched camps on the James and on the Appomattox.

During all the month of July, Grant's great army was busy throwing up parallels and driving mines in advancing upon Petersburg. In front of the Blandford cemetery, to the northeast of that city, there was a salient in the Confederate line known as Elliott's. At that point, the Federal lines, under Burnside, were but a hundred yards away, and in their rear was a deep ravine, from which Pennsylvania miners drove a main gallery, for 510 feet, under Burnside's works, the intervening space, and to well under the Elliott salient in the Confederate line. From this main gallery lateral ones were extended, right and left, and in these works were placed 8,000 pounds of powder, and the appliances for its explosion under Confederate works and the guns of Pegram's and Elliott's batteries. Grant proposed to spring this mine and thus blow open a way, through the Confederate intrenchments, by which he could send three of his corps, nearly half of his army, and capture Petersburg from Lee. The preparations for this peculiar kind of strategy by one who was always desiring open-field fighting, were all complete on the 28th of July.

On the 27th of July, Grant sent Sheridan's cavalry, and Hancock with the Second corps, across to the north side of the James, to attack the Confederate works at Chaffin's bluff, hoping to there break through and capture Richmond, or, at least, to create a diversion that would draw a large portion of Lee's army to the north of the James, and thus help to secure success for Burnside's attack, after the explosion of his mine. Crossing the river at Deep Bottom, Hancock drove back Kershaw's division and captured four pieces of his artillery, but on following up his success he encountered an intrenched line of battle, which brought him to a stand. On the 29th, Lee hurried cavalry and five divisions of infantry over the James, to aid in keeping back Hancock, leaving

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