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[322] said that Butler had intended to cross Swift Creek on the 10th, and make a determined effort at the capture of Petersburg, but deceived by tidings from Washington, received on the night of the 9th, that Lee was in full retreat before Grant, he determined to turn north and assist in the capture of Richmond. Instead, however, of pressing at once upon the latter place, with its meagre garrison, on the evening of the 10th, he withdrew aside into his entrenchments at Bermuda Hundred, leaving the road open for the transfer by the shortest route of the bulk of the troops now at Petersburg into the southern defences of the Confederate capital at Drewry's Bluff, and did not move upon the latter place until two days later, Beauregard, himself remaining at Petersburg for the further organization of his assembling force, promptly availed himself of the opportunity, and sent forward along the open pike a column under General Hoke, of six brigades of infantry, with eight batteries of artillery, in the afternoon of the 11th, which arrived and took position at Drewry's Bluff on the morning of the 12th. Soon after this force was in position at Drewry's, on the 12th, the enemy appeared, skirmishing commenced, and was maintained, with more or less vigor, during that day and the next. Towards evening of the 13th, some advantage was obtained by the Federals on our right, and Hoke withdrew before day on the 14th to our second, or interior line of defence.

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