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[323] of skirmishers, but no serious move was made by the enemy.

Our position was a very good one and it was rapidly strengthened with the ordinary rifle trenches and some epaulments for artillery. The enemy's position on the opposite banks of Mine Run was also a strong one for defence, the ground there being a little higher than that occupied by us; and he proceeded to throw up strong epaulments for his artillery in numerous favorable positions. A direct attack from either side would have been attended with great difficulties, on account of the necessity of having to descend the slopes to Mine Run and then after crossing that stream to ascend the opposite slopes under the fire of artillery as well as infantry.

As the enemy had crossed the river to attack us, we calmly awaited his assault for several days, with full confidence that we would be able to punish him severely for disturbance of us at this inclement season.

The weakest part of the line occupied by me was on the left, where Mine Run made a turn somewhat around that flank, so as to afford the enemy an opportunity of placing guns in position to partially enfilade the line. He was slow, however, to take advantage of this, and our lines at the exposed parts were protected in some measure by traverses hastily made. On the 30th, he was observed moving troops to his right beyond our left, and dispositions were made to meet him by extending Johnson's line to the rear around towards Zoar Church. There had been occasional artillery firing by the enemy, and on this day he opened quite heavily for a time, our fire being generally reserved for the attack when it should be made. Andrews' battalion of artillery, however, near Johnson's left, supported by some guns from the reserve artillery, replied to the enemy's for a time.

A force of infantry crossing Mine Run in front of my division, under cover of some woods on the bank of the stream, came up to an imperfect line of trenches in front, which had been abandoned for a better and shorter line

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