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[321] enemy had not General Hagood been halted there at that most opportune hour. * * * He and his command were justly looked upon as the saviors of Petersburg upon that occasion.

But the crisis had not yet passed. It was for three days yet in the power of General Butler, by a determined advance, to brush the handful of Confederates from his path and march into Petersburg. His strength and position were now, however, fully developed by the Confederates, and before day on the morning of the 8th, General Pickett, at Petersburg, ordered the force at Walthall Junction to withdraw into the Northern lines, on the south side of Swift Creek, nearer to the city.

An advance party of Hagood's Brigade held the field at Walthall until the morning of the 9th, when Butler again advanced, but now with his whole army. By midday he had it in position before the Swift Creek line. These were ordinary breastworks, and were now held by the brigades of Bushrod Johnson some 1,100 strong, Hagood, reinforced by the arrival of his remaining regiments, to 2,400 officers and men, and Colonel McCanthen's 51st North Carolina Regiment, unattached, probably less than 500 strong, making in all something like 4,000 infantry. There were eighteen pieces of field artillery, being the batteries of Owens, Payne, Hancken and Marten. Twenty-two men of Johnson's Brigade were detailed to work, under Captain Marten, the heavy guns of Fort Clifton, situated near the debouchment of Swift creek into the Appomattox, and controlling the navigation of that river.

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