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[332] invited by Lee to accompany the bulk of his forces, and take command of the right wing of Lee's army, but he unselfishly preferred to remain with the handful of troops left him at what his military instinct pronounced the tactical point of danger to the defence of Richmond. At any time in the campaign of 1864, as afterward in 1865, the abandonment of the Capital would have promptly followed upon the fall of Petersburg.

Grant essayed the last desperate effort of his overland campaign in the murderous assault at Cold Harbor. Sore at his repulse, he lingered upon the northern front of Richmond for ten days, and then, in determining to transfer the operations of his army to the south side of the James, assumed the line upon which Butler's cooperative effort had been directed. Until he had crossed the James, it was open to the Federal general to turn again directly upon Richmond, in continuance of the idea which had dominated his advance from the Rapidan. Lee followed upon his right flank, interposing against such a purpose, but with the coup d'oel which was his own, had on the 14th placed Hoke's division near Drewry's Bluff on the eastern side of the river where it was in a position to go to Beauregard or to act as a reserve in his own operations. Beauregard, while Grant was still at Cold Harbor, had, in communication with the War Department on the 7th and again on the 9th, forecasted Grant's strategy to be the move against which General Lee was now guarding (or preferably operations on the south side). He had called attention to the defenceless condition of Petersburg and urgently asked for the return of his troops which had been detached to Lee. Grant's movement from Cold Harbor was executed with skill and despatch, and his real purpose was not immediately divined by his adversary. The movement was commenced on the night of the 12th. By noon on the 15th General Smith, with his corps, was before Petersburg. At 1:15 P. M. on the 16th General Lee asked in a telegram of Beauregard: ‘Have you heard of Grant's crossing the James river?’ and on the following day, the 17th, at 4:30 P. M., again telegraphed General Beauregard: ‘Have no information of Grant's crossing James river, but upon your report have ordered troops up to Chaffin's Bluff.’

It was thus the fortune of war for Beauregard once more to stand in the breach before Petersburg and save her for the time. It was the three days fighting that ensued from the 15th to the 18th instant, covering the attempt to carry the place by storm, and preceding the

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