in front of the Blanford suburb of Petersburg
, with its left resting in reserve.
At the word of command, just before the dawning of the day, Gordon
's men leaped over their intrenchments, rushed across the 150 yards between these and Fort Stedman
, and captured that and three adjacent batteries.
The attack had been delayed by the tardiness of Longstreet
's supporting detachment, and the plan of assault was but half carried out on the approach of full daylight.
tried, in vain, to capture the forts on his right and left, as his efforts were not seconded by the advance of his supporting forces.
Daylight enabled the Federal
batteries, from a commanding position, to rake Gordon
's lines, and Federal infantry were pushed forward in overwhelming numbers to attack him. After inflicting a loss of 2,000 upon Grant
, and suffering one of 3,000 in his own command, Gordon
was compelled to retire.
reports that, after this repulse, ‘General Meade
at once ordered the other corps to advance and feel the enemy in their respective fronts.
Pushing forward, they captured and held the enemy's strongly intrenched picket line, in front of the Second and Sixth corps, and captured 834 prisoners.
The enemy made desperate attempts to retake this line, but without success.
Our loss in front of these was 52 killed, 864 wounded, and 207 missing.’
Writing of this period, Grant
says, in his final report:
I had spent days of anxiety lest each morning should bring the report that the enemy had retreated the night before.
I was firmly convinced that Sherman's crossing the Roanoke would be the signal for Lee to leave.
With Johnston and him combined, a long, tedious and expensive campaign, consuming most of the summer, might become necessary.
By moving out I would put the army in better condition for pursuit, and would at least, by the destruction of the Danville road, retard the concentration of the two armies of Lee and Johnston, and cause the enemy to abandon much material that he might otherwise save.
I therefore determined not to delay the movement ordered.
On the night of the 27th, three divisions of the Twenty-fourth and Twenty-fifth corps, preceded by McKenzie
's cavalry, took up the line of march, and was in position, near Hatcher
's run, on the morning of the 29th.
The Fifth corps moved at 3 a. m. of that day, the Second at 9.
's cavalry reached Dinwiddie Court House the night of the 29th, and the left of the infantry advance extended to the Quaker
road, near its junction with the