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[464] and after reaching the trenches moved by the left flank down them and occupied the position which Anderson was to have taken, and then in his front), that there were no troops in the trenches apart from some stragglers, of which I am sure no command is free. After some time, I suppose an hour, Major-General Field put two brigades in the trenches on the left of the City Point road, with a view to attack, and seemed anxious to do so, but I advised against it, as the enemy had had ample time to make all preparations for us, and which they had done, I felt assured he would sustain a very heavy loss and accomplish nothing. At this time orders were received from General Lee for me to report to him in company with Major-General Field, who abandoned the attack after hearing the position of affairs. My troops were not able to return until night, as they would have been exposed to a heavy fire of the enemy from their entrenchments, which were about four hundred yards in advance of those occupied by our men. A report of the casualties has been forwarded. I was much troubled at the loss of my men, who did their duty truly and well, without results which to me appeared certain, and surely ought to have been reaped. It is not my desire to place blame or responsibility upon others (I fear neither) in making the foregoing statements, but merely give facts to the best of my knowledge, after which the Commanding General may draw his own conclusions. I have unofficially heard that both I and my command were censured by the Commanding General. My regret is in attempting the attack without full command of all the forces who were to participate. Both the plan of battle and of attack were good, but failed in the execution. The enemy became extremely uneasy along his entire line when the attack was made, and had we been successful at that point our results would have been such as have not heretofore been equalled. No other portion of my command was engaged except the three regiments of Hagood's brigade on the left of the City Point road, whose action is given in detail in the enclosed report. The plan of battle was such that no part of my command could participate except those mentioned. General Hagood did everything in his power to give us success, and desired to push forward when in my judgment it appeared hazardous.

Very respectfully.


R. F. Hoke, Major-General. To Captain John M: Otey, A. A. G.

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