exception they had all been thrust back, from point to point, inside the rebel lines.
One battery, however, was captured, but not till its horses had been shot by the skirmishers of the Sixth corps.
Most of the outer works were speedily carried or abandoned, but two sister redoubts, Forts Gregg and Baldwin
, offered stout resistance, and soon after midday the Twenty-fourth corps came up before them.
They were the most salient and commanding works outside of Petersburg
, and it was indispensable that they should be stormed.
Accordingly, at one o'clock an assault on Fort Gregg was ordered.
Three of Ord
's brigades, under Turner
, moved forward at once in close support, and a desperate struggle ensued.
The garrison was composed of three hundred brave fellows, collected from various commands—artillery, infantry, and a body of mounted drivers called Walker
's Mules, to whom muskets had been furnished, for the rebels habitually put even their teamsters into line of battle.
These men had been driven from the picket line in the morning, and fled to Fort Gregg for shelter.
Two rifled cannon constituted the armament.
The rebels fought with splendid valor, and several times repulsed the assaulting party.
At last the parapet was gained, but even then for half an hour a hand-to-hand conflict was maintained.
Many of the garrison used their bayonets and clubbed muskets, and not until half-past 2 did the gallant remnant surrender.
Two hundred and fifty officers and men were captured, and fifty-seven dead were found within the works.
Several of Ord
's regiments claimed the honor of first planting their colors on the parapet, but the real glory of this little battle indisputably belongs to the defenders.