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Run, was resting in front of them, with instructions not to attack. Beyond the Run were only Crawford's division, hugging the west bank of the stream, and Hancock's two divisions—one at Burgess's Mill, one advanced out the White Oak road— with Gregg's cavalry partly on the left with Mott, partly in rear to ward off the enemy's cavalry, which had already got in upon the Boydton road farther down, and were sending their shells up the road to meet and cross shells now pouring in upon the plain at Burgess's from across the Run, and also from adown the White Oak road beyond Mott. The situation was in no way a pleasing one, nor was there anything about it which was promising. The Union force thus detached was confessedly too small to advance toward the railroad, while its presence there invited the audacious attempts of the enemy upon its flank and rear. It was certain, from what was known of Lee's army, that the day would not pass without a repetition of those attacks through woods and swamps, which had so often brought disaster to our outlying forces. After surveying the ground for a while, during the course of which General Grant exposed himself in a remarkably daring manner to the fire of the enemy, which was now poured unremittingly into the narrow space occupied by our troops, Grant and Meade rode away, bidding Hancock hold on until morning and then withdraw. The reasons which

actuated the commander in chief in putting an end
to the expedition are thus stated by Badeau:
“The rebels were evidently in force north of the
Creek with strong defenses. Their intrenched line
extended far beyond the point at which it had been
supposed to turn to the north, and when the National
army advanced, Lee had simply moved out and oc-
cupied the works already prepared. The contem-
plated movement was thus impracticable. The rebel
position could perhaps be carried, but only with ex-
treme difficulty and loss of life—a loss which the
advantage to be gained would not compensate,
while in the event of repulse disaster might be
grave, stretched out as the army was, with its flanks
six miles apart, and the creek dividing Warren's
corps. Any serious rebuff or loss was especially to
be deprecated at this crisis. The presidential elec-
tion was only ten days off, and the enemies of the
nation at the North were certain to exaggerate every
mishap. Success at the polls was just now even
more important than a victory in the field, and it
would have been most unwise to risk greatly on this
occasion. Accordingly, when Grant returned from
the bridge, he gave orders to suspend the move-
ment. Hancock was directed to hold his position
till the following morning, then withdraw by the
same road along which he had advanced.”
Thus, so far as the plans of Grant or the orders
to Hancock were concerned, the Boydton road ex-

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pedition was at an end. Nothing more was to be attempted. The expeditionary column was to rest until morning, and then withdraw. But the Confederates willed otherwise, and the Second Corps was yet to have a little fighting for its marching. Guided by the sound impulse which always actuated the leaders of the Army of Northern Virginia whenever the Army of the Potomac moved against their flanks, General Heth, who commanded this end of Lee's line, was already in motion to issue from his works and, taking advantage of the strange and bewildering country, to deliver a heavy blow upon our adventurous column. Every brigade that could be called in for the purpose was drawn down to the edge of Hatcher's Run with a view to cross and strike Hancock on his right flank. This movement, so often successful, was to fail here, and to fail with loss and disaster; but it would have been fourfold a failure had Crawford pushed his division up the Run with vigor. Hours had elapsed since he crossed the stream, and yet nothing had been seen or heard of him, although the distance was short. Every effort to communicate with Crawford himself by feeling out and backward from our right had come to nothing. In fact, that officer had lost direction in the wooded swamps, and, on encountering a few score of the enemy's skirmishers,” had halted and

* “Fifty or seventy-five sharpshooters,” says General Heth,

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