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ee disappointment in Richmond. Atlanta had fallen, the Weldon road was carried, and Early's exit from the Valley had beea barren waste; and to Meade: I do not want to give up the Weldon road, if it can be avoided, until we get Richmond. That mm the James river on the right to Warren's left beyond the Weldon road. The system of field-works which at this time enci From this point the works extended south-westerly to the Weldon road, when they turned to the north, and completed the cir failed to appreciate the importance of the seizure of the Weldon road. The disaster of Burnside had left an impression thaom Petersburg: Warren's corps is now entrenched across the Weldon road; I shall endeavor to stay there, and employ the enemyk the minimum necessary to detain you. . . Yielding up the Weldon road seems to be a blow the enemy cannot stand. . . Watch st attempt, at Ream's station, to regain possession of the Weldon road. Unsuccessful there, and finding his plans frustrate
Meade, accordingly, with four divisions of infantry under Warren and Parke, advanced towards Poplar Spring church and Peeble's farm, about two miles west of the Weldon road, while Gregg's division of cavalry moved still further to the left and rear. Hancock was left in command of the trenches in front of Petersburg. Warren, s were finally repulsed, losing heavily in their turn. The position carried in the morning was held, and Warren entrenched himself, and extended his right to the Weldon road. As usual, Lee reported his first success, but failed to state that he was finally repulsed, and that the national troops retained possession of one of hi withdrawn to their main line, and refusing battle outside of fortifications. The necessary works were then laid out, and the national line was extended from the Weldon road to the position gained at Peeble's farm. This was a little more than a mile from the Boydtown road, and not more than two miles from the Southside railroad.
e and the Weldon railways. The rebels were known to have begun the construction of a line of defences to cover this route, along which, since the seizure of the Weldon road, they were obliged to wagon all their supplies from the Atlantic coast; and before these defences should be completed, Grant designed to move to the left, ansense of the term, that, usually, the troops had only to halt and face to the right, to be in proper line of battle in front of the enemy. Even the battle at the Weldon road was not conducted on a different principle from the others, except that when it was seen how promptly the enemy sent troops to check the extension, there was works; but if the troops could be destroyed or captured, he was indifferent about the possession of either town. This made it far better for him to fight at the Weldon road or Peeble's farm, than at any point on the entrenched lines close to Petersburg. While he was running parallels, Lee might defy, or escape him; but by exten
th the Second, and about two divisions of the Fifth corps, down the Weldon road, destroying it as far to the south as possible. Later on the to Georgia, which will aid an expedition I have ordered to cut the Weldon road south of the Roanoke. At the same time, as Hampton had been s possible. On the 5th, he gave Meade instructions to move down the Weldon road as far south as Hicksford; and on the 6th, he said to Butler: , and minute orders to Meade for the movement southward against the Weldon road. On the 7th, he telegraphed to Butler, now at Fort Monroe: rprise Rainbow, a place the enemy are fortifying, and to strike the Weldon road south of Weldon. It was not a single hammer, however ponderWeldon. It was not a single hammer, however ponderous, that was at work; but a great and complicated mechanism, with springs, and levers, and pulleys, and wheels; and the simultaneous blows th it will go far towards starving out the garrison of Richmond. The Weldon road has been largely used until now, notwithstanding it has been c
ht avail to stay the approaching catastrophe. On the 19th of February, Lee wrote to the Richmond government: The accounts received to-day from South and North Carolina are unfavorable. General Beauregard reports from Charlotte that four corps of the enemy are advancing on that place, tearing up the railroad, and that they will probably reach Charlotte . . . before he can concentrate his troops there. He states General Sherman will doubtless . . . unite with General Schofield at Raleigh or Weldon. General Bragg reports that General Schofield is now preparing to advance from Newbern to Goldsboro. . . . He says that little or no assistance can be received from the state of North Carolina. . . . Sherman seems to be having everything his own way, which is calculated to cause apprehension. General Beauregard does not say what he proposes or what he can do I do not know where his troops are, or on what lines they are moving. . . . General J. E. Johnston is the only officer whom I know w
cavalry, where they are, what their orders, etc. If it had been possible to have had a division or two of them well up on the right, . . . they could have fallen on the enemy's rear, as they were pursuing Ayres and Crawford. Grant was unaware that Sheridan at this time was himself heavily engaged. In the midst of this important battle, Grant was looking anxiously for news from North Carolina, and in the same dispatch to Sheridan, he said: I would like you to get information from the Weldon road. I understand the enemy have some infantry and a brigade of cavalry at Stony creek station; I think it possible, too, that Johnston may be brought up that road to attack us in rear. They will see now that Sherman has halted at Goldsboro, and may think they can leave Raleigh with a small force. There was a delay of several hours before the Fifth corps was ready, and Meade evidently shared the feeling in regard to Warren that was entertained by Sheridan and Grant. See vol. II., p
al Sheridan, joined by the division now under General Davies, will move at the same time, by the Weldon road and the Jerusalem plank-road, turning west from the latter before crossing the Nottoway, anrps may be thrown back so as to occupy the position held by the army prior to the capture of the Weldon road. All troops to the left of the Ninth corps will be held in readiness to move at the shorteater. The crossing should probably be at Uniten. Should Colonel Sumner succeed in reaching the Weldon road, he will be instructed to do all the damage possible to the triangle of roads between Hicksford, Weldon, and Gaston. The railroad bridge at Weldon being fitted up for the passage of carriages, it might be practicable to destroy any accumulation of supplies the enemy may have collected soutWeldon being fitted up for the passage of carriages, it might be practicable to destroy any accumulation of supplies the enemy may have collected south of the Roanoke. All the troops will move with four days rations in haversacks, and eight days in wagons. To avoid as much hauling as possible, and to give the army of the James the same number of
river, II., 351; in command of gunboat fleet at West, III., 65. Lee, General Robert E. in command of army of Northern Virginia, II., 5; battle of the Wilderness, 101-134; at Spottsylvania, 134-209; movement to the North Anna, 218-237 movements preceding battle of Cold Harbor, 266-273; battles at Cold Harbor, 275-309; observations on strategy of, 306-324; movements preceding crossing of James, 347-363 moves to Petersburg, 364; defence of Petersburg, 364-369; reports Petersburg cut off from Weldon, 387: sends Early and Breckenridge against Hunter, 419; doubts as to Early's expedition across the Potomac 431 reinforces Early in Valley of Virginia, 504; loses Weldon road, 520; disingenuous reports of, 208, 270, 523-525: III., 70, 127 prevented from reinforcing Hood or Early, 532; relations with Early's campaign, III., 17-24, 38, 80, 84,105; at Peeble's farm and Fort Harrison, 74-80; at Hatcher's run, 114-128; sends Hoke's division to North Carolina, 312; created general-in-chief, 356; al