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on, a furious fire broke out along the two lines, now so near that in many cases no pickets could be thrown out. Each side believed that it was being attacked. The day of the 4th was characterized by heavy artillery practice and by extreme snapshooting. Whenever a head appeared for an instant it became the target for a score of shots. A portion of Gibbon's line was so near that it was necessary to dig "covered ways," by which alone the troops could be withdrawn or re-enforced, or rations and ammunition brought up. Among the killed of this day was Colonel Lewis O. Morris, Seventh New York Heavy Artillery, who had, on the 3d, succeeded Brooke in command of his brigade. The approach of night brought another outburst, which was again interpreted by our troops to mean an attempt of the enemy to carry our works by a sudden dash.
June 5th was in its essential character a repetition of the 4th. Through all this interval it was known that scores of our desperately wounded were lying in the narrow space between the two lines, uncared for and without water. All who could crawl in to the one side or the other had already done so; hundreds had been brought in at great risk to their rescuers; but there were still those who lay helpless where it was simple death for a Union soldier to show his head. Moreover, the dead of the 3d nearly all lay where they had fallen. If it be asked why so simple a duty of humanity as the rescue of the wounded and burial of the dead had been thus neglected, it is answered that it was due to an unnecessary scruple on the part of the Union commander in chief. Grant delayed sending a flag of truce to General Lee for this purpose because it would amount to an admission that he had been beaten on the 3d of June. It now seems incredible that he should for a moment have supposed that any other view could be taken of that action. But even if it were so, this was a very poor way of rewarding his soldiers who had fallen in the attack, or of encouraging their comrades to take similar risks. It was not until the 7th that an arrangement was reached for a cessation of hostilities, between 6 and 8 p. M., for burying the dead and removing the wounded. By this time most of the latter were past caring for. Hardly was the " flag of truce" over when another outburst occurred, which soon rose to the greatest fury. The troops in the trenches were comparatively safe, but the plain behind;was swept with musketry and artillery fire. The headquarters of the corps were riddled by bullets,' and the assistant provost marshal, Captain Alexander McCune, was killed by a solid shot while standing in the door of Hancock's tent. It was a hideous time; and no one who was exposed to the fury of that storm will ever forget how the horrors of battle were heightened by the blackness of the night.
It has been said that the immediate position which Lee had taken could not be turned either by its right or by its left; but afar off to the south, across the Chickahominy and across the James, lay the city of Petersburg, controlling the communications of Richmond with the main country of the Confederacy. Hither the lieutenant general had already determined to transfer his army, hoping, by carefully planned and rapidly executed movements, to seize the Cockade City. To this end the Army of the Potomac was to be held in its trenches in front of Cold Harbor several days longer, and all the appearance of active operations was to be maintained. The duty was, of necessity, exceedingly trying to the troops, especially those of the Second Corps, which lay nearest the enemy. Through all the day not a man, over large parts of the line, could show his head above the works or go ten yards to the rear without being shot. This continued until the early evening of the 12th, when the corps was stealthily withdrawn.
In the column that wound its way in the darkness out of the intrenchments and took the route to the Chickahominy little remained of the two splendid divisions which had crossed that river on the 31st of May, 1862, to the rescue of McClellan's broken left. Down to the point we have reached, this body of troops had, it is true, been most fortunate in its opportunities; but its transcendent deeds had been mainly of its own daring and its own deserving. It had captured twenty-five cannon; it had lost one, disabled. It had taken more than eighty flags in action; it had yielded, perhaps, a dozen to the enemy. Its " missing" in all its terrible battles had been about five thousand; it had captured over eleven thousand Confederates. It had not been more impetuous in assault than steady, enduring, and resourceful in disaster. But as the corps turned southward from Cold Harbor, to take its part in the second act of the great campaign of 1864, the historian is bound to confess that something of its pristine virtue had departed under the terrific blows that had been showered upon it in the series of fierce encounters which have been recited. Its casualties had averaged more than four hundred a day for the whole period since it crossed the Rapidan. It had lost 5,092 in the Wilderness, 5,457 at Spottsylvania, 1,651 on the North Anna and the Totopotomoy, 3,510 at Cold Harbor; in all, 15,710. But even these figures fail to tell the amount of the injury that had been sustained. Twenty-seven general and field officers had been killed or mortally wounded, and several times that number disubled. In a disproportionate degree it was the bravest and most enterprising officers, the bravest and most enduring soldiers, who had fallen in the assaults upon intrenched positions. These were the men who went farthest to the front, stayed there longest, and fell back most slowly and grudgingly. Moreover, the confidence of the troops in their leaders had been severely shaken. They had again and again been ordered to attacks which the very privates in the ranks knew to be hopeless from the start; they had seen the fatal policy of "assaults all along the line " persisted in even after the most ghastly failures; and they had almost ceased to expect victory when they went into battle. The lamentable story of Petersburg can not be understood without reference to facts like these.