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[450] partial critics. It seemed almost as if the great defender was becoming dazed by misfortune, and, finding himself shut in by lines of soldiers that he could not break, was madly dashing against the walls he had no hope of penetrating. The marvelous sagacity, and the still more marvelous patience, for which he had once been known, were beginning to fail.

It may be that he did not dare to lead his troops from Richmond without one effort to break through the cordon which enveloped him. It may be that he had received positive orders from Davis to assault. But even then he should have made the attempt at the other extremity of Meade's line, and in any event have withdrawn the troops from the north side of the James. But the rebel leaders felt that the fates were against them, and it mattered little what they did—their doom was close at hand. To this condition had the strategy and persistency of Grant reduced his opponents.

This battle made no difference whatever in Grant's plans. The army was to move on the 29th of March, and the orders remained unchanged. On the night of the 27th, Ord left the trenches north of the James, and, by daylight on the 29th, he had reached the position assigned him near Hatcher's run. On the 28th, Grant instructed Sheridan: ‘The Fifth corps will move by the Vaughan road at three A. M. to-morrow morning. The Second moves at about nine A. M., having but about three miles to march to reach the point designated for it to take on the right of the Fifth corps. . . . Move your cavalry at as early an hour as you can, and without being confined to any particular road or roads. You may go out by the nearest roads in rear of the Fifth ’

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