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[526] run, to oppose his northward march. A division of the Fifth corps was then moved to the left to strengthen Hancock, but most of its regiments lost their way in the intricacies of the forest roads in that region. The Federal line was not well established, and its left was broken into fragments in the bewildering forest. Heth promptly met Hancock's flank movement with one of his own. He sent Mahone's division westward, across the run, and, hurrying them into the gap that had been left between the Fifth and Second corps, fiercely attacked Hancock's right, while Hampton's cavalry fell on his left. Hancock's superior force enabled him to repulse these attacks and re-establish his lines, but Hill captured six of his guns and 700 prisoners.

During the succeeding night, Grant withdrew his unsuccessful movement, after a loss of 1,761 men, and left Hill in possession of the field of contention. In his final report, after describing the movement to where the battle of Hatcher's Run took place, Grant wrote:

At this point we were six miles from the Southside railroad, which I had hoped, by this movement, to reach and hold. But finding that we had not reached the end of the enemy's fortifications, and no place presenting itself for a successful assault by which he might be doubled up and shortened, I determined to withdraw to within our fortified lines. Orders were given accordingly. Immediately upon receiving a report that General Warren had connected with General Hancock, I returned to my headquarters. Soon after dark the enemy moved out across Hatcher's run, in the gap between Generals Hancock, and Warren, which was not closed as reported, and made a desperate attack on General Hancock's right and rear. General Hancock immediately faced his corps to meet it, and after a bloody combat drove the enemy within his works, and withdrew that night to his old position.

On this same October 27th, Grant ordered Butler to make a demonstration north of the James, on the defenses of Richmond on the Williamsburg road and on the York River railroad, to the west of Fair Oaks and Seven Pines. Grant reports that ‘in the former he was unsuccessful; in the latter he succeeded in carrying a work which was afterward abandoned, and his forces withdrawn to their former position.’ Butler had attempted to steal into Richmond by way of the concealed roads through the White Oak swamp, but Longstreet, who had just returned to his command, not only drove him back, but inflicted upon him a loss of more than 1,000 men.

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