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[76] he said: ‘If the enemy can be broken and started, follow him up closely. I can't help believing that the enemy are prepared to leave Petersburg, if forced a little.’ Later in the afternoon, Parke, moving on Warren's left, towards the Boydtown road, was fiercely attacked, and forced back with heavy loss; but Warren sent a division promptly to his support, and the Ninth corps rallied. For a time the fighting was severe, but the rebels were finally repulsed, losing heavily in their turn. The position carried in the morning was held, and Warren entrenched himself, and extended his right to the Weldon road.1

Butler also was assaulted, at Fort Harrison, three times during the afternoon. The loss of this work troubled the rebels greatly, for it commanded the shortest road to Richmond. Four divisions were hurried to the spot, Lee was present in person, and the troops were told the fort must be re-taken at every hazard. Their efforts were desperate, but each assault was repulsed, and Butler retained possession of his prize. The rebel loss was estimated at nearly one thousand killed and wounded,2 and Butler reported the capture of more than two hundred prisoners. His own losses were insignificant. Thus, at each end of his line Lee made energetic efforts to regain what he had lost, and at each he was foiled.

Nevertheless, the rebels had made a good fight, and it was difficult to know at what point they were

1 As usual, Lee reported his first success, but failed to state that he was finally repulsed, and that the national troops retained possession of one of his forts.

2 Rebel War Clerk's Diary, Vol. II., page 297.

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