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V. Manoeuvres about Petersburg

[ “if we only could have been a little quicker and more driving, we might have had Petersburg at a mouthful,” wrote Lyman some days after the Army of the Potomac had crossed the James. “The strategy of Grant had deceived Lee, who failed to divine the movement, and did nothing therefore to impede it.” 1

Butler, in command of the Army of the James, was encamped at Bermuda Hundred. Grant ordered him to advance and capture Petersburg. But Butler did not rise to the occasion; he sent only part of his forces, under Baldy Smith, who had reinforced Butler, which captured some strong outer fortifications but which did not advance on the city, although it was feebly garrisoned. When Grant and Meade arrived, the town had been reinforced. The attacks of June 16, 17, and 18 were repulsed with great loss to the Union forces. No new assaults were ordered, and the investment of Petersburg began.]

1 Rhodes, IV, 488.

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