had been driven in by Jackson
's flank march and attack.
, the Army of the Potomac made no concerted effort to entrench, but relied largely on natural obstacles.
But a decided change in the record of events commenced when the final campaign started from the Rapidan
, in 1864.
We already have noted how, in the Western
armies, the art of entrenching had been highly developed.
Not to be outdone by their Western comrades, the great armies operating in Virginia
now got down and systematically “dug dirt.”
Each force hugged the ground with bulldog tenacity.
The end was coming.
Everyone saw that the war must stop, and neither army felt that it was the one that was going to meet defeat.
The great battles of the Wilderness
, and Cold Harbor, on the way to Petersburg
, were but a succession of attacks upon improvised fortresses, defeats for the assaulting troops, flank movements to a new position, new entrenchments, new assaults, new flank movements, and so on continuously.
The stronger Northern army never overcame the weaker Southern legions so long as the latter remained in the trenches.
The preponderance of numbers enabled the Federal
armies to extend ever to the left, reaching out the long left arm to get around the flank of the Confederate
This was the final operation in front of Petersburg
To meet the continuously extending left of the Federals
's lines became dangerously thin, and he had to evacuate his works.
He was not driven out by the foes assaulting the works themselves until his lines became so thin that they were broken by weight of numbers.
Here the principle that already had been demonstrated was again shown to be true--one American in the trench was worth several Americans
outside — for all Americans
are intrinsically equal.
While these stirring events of the East
were occurring, Schofield
at Franklin, Tennessee
, attacked by Hood
, proved again that the increasing faith in hasty field-works was not ill