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[125] night came on before he could cross the run. He therefore advanced no further. The assault on Hancock, however, had been so completely broken that the rebels were unable to re-form. If Crawford could have attacked them at this crisis, the destruction of the whole assaulting force must have been inevitable. As it was, several hundred rebels strayed within his lines and were captured. One party of six had even seized a national officer, but finding themselves inside of Warren's lines, they gave themselves up to their prisoner.

Meade now authorized Hancock to use his discretion, and either retire, or hold the ground from which he had repelled the enemy, offering him the assistance of two divisions of Warren. Hancock, however, was eight miles from the national entrenchments; in case of disaster, he had but one line of retreat, and that difficult and interrupted by the run; his ammunition at the front was nearly exhausted, and a fresh supply could only be brought up over the same heavy and crowded road. He therefore deemed it advisable to withdraw. This decision was approved by Meade, and was in conformity with the orders and intentions of Grant when he left the field. Hancock began moving at ten P. M., and Warren at one o'clock; and by noon of the 28th, the whole army was back in its former camps.1

At midnight Grant said to Meade: ‘Your despatch, with those from Hancock, just received. ’

1 It is stated by rebel writers that during the night of the 27th, Lee massed 15,000 infantry and all of Hampton's cavalry opposite Hancock, with a view of crushing the Second corps in the morning; but in the morning the corps was gone.

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