an outer line, which the enemy might give up without giving up Petersburg
should either advance rapidly, or cover his men and hold all he gets.’
At the same time he cautioned Weitzel
, north of the James
: ‘The greatest vigilance is necessary on your part that the enemy do not cross the Appomattox
to overwhelm and drive back Parke
To the staff officer left in charge at City Point
he said: ‘Instruct Benham
to get the men at City Point
out to the outer lines, and have them ready.
While all our forces are going in, some enterprising rebels may possibly go through down there, in a fit of desperation, to do what damage they can.’
With all his aggressive audacity Grant
never neglected the necessary precautions against similar traits in the enemy.
Meanwhile the two corps on the left of the Sixth had made their advance.
The ground in front of Ord
was difficult, and his troops at first did not succeed in penetrating the enemy's line; but, as the rebels weakened their force in his front in order to resist Wright
also broke through the entrenchments.
too was doing well.
At about half-past 7 the entrenched picket line in his front was captured under musketry as well as artillery fire, and at eight o'clock Hays
's division of the Second corps carried an important redoubt, with three guns and a large part of the garrison.
's division of the same corps was then pushed forward to the Boydton
road, but found the rebels on that front had evacuated their line.
At 8.25 A. M., Grant
thus summed up for the President
the results that had been attained: ‘Wright
has gone through the enemy's line, and now has a ’