previous next
[448] attempts to retake this line, but without success; it remained in the national hands. The loss in these two corps was fifty-two killed, eight hundred and twenty-four wounded, and two hundred and seven missing; that of the rebels was probably greater, as they were repelled in several severe assaults.

Ord as well as Meade was at Grant's headquarters, discussing the preparations for the 29th, when the report of the first assault arrived; and Grant at once notified Gibbon, who had been left in command of the army of the James. ‘This,’ he said, ‘may be a signal for leaving. Be ready to take advantage of it.’ To Meade, after the results of the day were known, he telegraphed: ‘Your last dispatch reflects great credit on the army for the promptness with which it became the attacking force after repelling an unexpected assault.’ The next day he recommended that Parke and Humphreys should be announced in orders as commanders of their respective corps, a military compliment they had not yet received; and that Hartranft should be brevetted major-general for ‘conspicuous gallantry in driving the enemy from the lodgment made in the national lines.’

The object of this movement of Lee was somewhat of a puzzle to Grant, and has never been satisfactorily explained. Lee could hardly have hoped to do any serious damage to Grant's communications with City Point, and he massed too large a force for the assault to make it practicable for him, whether it succeeded or not, to move his army by the right flank from Petersburg.1 If it was intended to encourage

1 It has, indeed, been asserted that Lee designed, under cover of this attack, to evacuate his lines; but not a shadow of authority for the statement has been shown. There is no mention of such a purpose in any document that has been preserved; no evidence in any quarter of any preparation to take advantage of the assault in order to withdraw.

It is a common manoeuvre for some rebel advocate or apologist to assert that such and such was the intention or result of a certain operation, without giving the slightest proof of the correctness of the statement; and then for all the rest to quote him as authority. If, being a bitter enemy of the national cause or its most successful champions, he represents himself as a Northern writer, he is forthwith claimed by rebels and sympathizing foreigners as an unwilling witness to the truth telling against his own side, whereas his testimony has been carefully manufactured with hostile design.

No statement of national or rebel intentions, or strength, or losses, or of any material fact on either side, should be accepted without positive proof of its correctness; and it is not sufficient to mention an authority; the absolute quotation should be verified.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
City Point (Virginia, United States) (1)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
U. S. Grant (4)
Robert E. Lee (3)
Meade (2)
John G. Parke (1)
E. O. C. Ord (1)
A. A. Humphreys (1)
Hartranft (1)
John Gibbon (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: