the flagging spirit of the South
, the attempt signally failed; the movement was neither felicitous in conception nor successful in execution; and the only result was that several thousand rebels were killed or taken prisoner, and Lee
was obliged to ask permission to collect his wounded and bury his dead in the space between what had been his picket line and his main fortifications; while Grant
gained ground destined to be of decided advantage before another week had passed.
This was the first and only unprovoked assault made by Lee
after the battle of Spottsylvania
In all the varied opportunities of battle or campaign, the rebel general had never once been tempted to expose himself to the chances of attack, unless Grant
had first assaulted him. For nearly eleven months he had not invited battle; but now, under the most discouraging circumstances, he moved a column against a strong defensive work, where a single corps was able to repel him without assistance, and no possibility of success was apparent to the most