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■with a loss of 300. On our side, Gen. Ord was wounded, and Brig.-Gen. Bumham killed.
Fort Harrison was so important to Richmond, that Field resolved to retake it, but deferred the assault till next morning, when he hurled three brigades against it on one 6ide, while Gen. Hoke charged on the other. These assaults failed to be made simultaneously, and of course were both repulsed with slaughter; as they probably would have been at any rate. But, a few days thereafter, the Rebels surprised at dawn our right, held by Kautz's cavalry, which had been pushed up the Charles City road, to within 4 or 5 miles of Richmond, and drove it; capturing 9 guns and perhaps 500 prisoners. A desperate fight ensued, in which the Rebel Gen. Gregg, of Texas, was killed. Both sides claimed a clear advantage, but neither obtained much, save in the capture of Fort Harrison; while the losses of each had been quite heavy.
Butler pushed forward a strong reconnoissance on the 13th, and assaulted some new works that the enemy had constructed on a part of their front; but they were firmly held, and the attack was not long persisted in.
After a considerable pause, spiced only by cannonading and picketfiring along the intrenched front of both armies, and some sanguinary encounters around Fort Sedgwick (nicknamed by our soldiers 'Fort Hell') covering the Jerusalem plankroad, Gen. Grant again sounded a general advance. While Gen. Butler demonstrated in force on our extreme right—the 18th corps moving on the Richmond defenses by both the
Charles City and Williamsburg roads —on our left, the Army of the Potomac, leaving only men enough to hold its works before Petersburg, and taking three days' rations, marched" suddenly by the left against the enemy's works covering Hatcher's run and the Boydton plank-road. In other words, Meade's army was here pushed forward to find and turn the right flank of the enemy.
Starting before dawn, the 9th corps, under Parke, on the right, with the 5th, under Warren, on its left, struck, at 9 A. M., the right of the Rebel intrenchments, which rested on the east bank of Hatcher's run; assaulting, but failing to carry them. Warren thereupon undertook, as had been arranged, to come in on its flank by a turning movement; while Hancock, who had simultaneously advanced still farther to our left, and had found but a small force to dispute his passage of Hatcher's run where he struck it, moved north-westward by Dabney's mill, gained the Boydton plankroad, and pushed up to strike the Lynchburg railroad in the enemy's rear. Gregg, with his cavalry division, was thrown out on Hancock's left.
Hancock had reached, with little opposition, the Boydton plank-road, and was pushing farther, when, at 1 p. M., he was halted by an order from Meade. Warren, upon the failure of Parke to carry the intrenchment in his front, had pushed Crawford's division, strengthened by Ayres's brigade, across the run, with orders to move down the north bank of that stream, so as to turn the Rebel defenses. Hancock, hitherto several miles distant, it was intended to connect with by this movement.
* Oct. 27.
Crawford, with great difficulty, advanced as ordered, through woods and swamps all but impenetrable, and in which many of his men were lost, while regiments were hopelessly separated from their division, until he was directly on the flank of the Rebel intrenchments; when he, too, was halted by Warren to give time for consultation with Meade—the country having proved entirely different from what was expected. Hancock was now but a mile from Crawford's left; but the dense woods left them in entire ignorance of each other's position. And now, of course, as Hancock was extending his right (Gibbon's division, now under Egan) to find Crawford's left, and receiving a mistaken report that the connection had been made, though a space of 1,200 yards still intervened, Lee threw forward Hill to strike Hancock's right and roll it up after the established fashion.
Hill's leading division, under Heth, crossed the run, making for Hancock, and, following a forest path, swept across in front of Crawford's skirmishers and across the interval between Crawford and Hancock, without clearly knowing where it was. Arriving opposite Hancock's position, Hill, seeing but unseen, silently deployed in the woods, and, at 4 p. M., charged; striking Mott's division, whose first notice of an enemy's approach was a volley of musketry. The brigade (Pierce's) thus charged gave way; a battery was lost; and, for a moment, there was a prospect of another Eeams's station disaster. Hancock of course instantly sent word to Egan to change front and hurry to the rescue; but Egan had already done that at the first sound of Hill's
guns; and, as the enemy, emerging into the cleared space along the Boydton road, pushed across that road in pursuit of Mott's fugitives, firing and yelling, Egan 6truck them in flank with two brigades, sweeping down the road, retaking the lost guns, and making over 1,000 prisoners. The disconcerted Rebels retreated as rapidly as they had advanced; but, over 200 of them, fleeing in utter confusion toward the run, fell into Crawford's lines, and were captured. Could Crawford have instantly comprehended the situation and advanced, their loss must have been far greater.
Warren was with Meade in the rear of Crawford's line, when Hill's blow was struck, and at once ordered up Ayres to the support of Hancock; but night fell before Ayres could get up.
Simultaneously with the charge on Hancock's front, Wade Hampton, with five brigades of cavalrv, charjred his left and rear, guarded by Gregg's cavalry; and Hancock was required to send all his available force to Gregg's support. Hampton persisted till after dark, but gained no ground, and was ultimately beaten off. Hancock's total loss by the day's operations was 1,500; that of the enemy was greater.
Hancock was now authorized by Meade either to withdraw or to hold on and attack next morning, if he could do so safely with the aid of Ayres and Crawford. Being short of ammunition, with no certainty that any more would reach him, or that Ayres and Crawford could bring up their divisions in Beason for the attack that would naturally be made on him at daybreak, Hancock pru507
END OF TIIE CAMPAIGN OP 1864 —LOSSES.
dentlj decided to draw off,81 and, at 10 p. M., commenced the movement; which ended with our whole army back in its intrenchments before Petersburg, and thence westward to Warren's works, covering not only theWeldon railroad, but the Yaughan and Squirrel Level highways. Thus, while our several advances on the left had been achieved at heavy cost, the following movement, wherein we had the advantage in the fighting and in losses, gave us no foot of ground whatever.
Butler's advance on our farthest
right, being in the nature of a feint, had effected nothing but a distraction of the enemy's attention, and this at considerable cost.
Here ended, practically, for the year 1SC>4, Grant's determined, persistent, sanguinary campaign against Lee's army and Richmond: and the following tabular statement of the losses endured by the Army of the Potomac, having been furnished by one of Gen. Grant's staff to the author of "Grant and his Campaigns," can not be plausibly suspected of exaggerating them:
Tabular Statement of Caeualtiee in the Army of the Potomac, from May 5,1SG4, to Kovember 1, 1SG4.
Note.—The first line of the above table includes several days' desperate fighting at Spottsylvania, in which our losses were fully 10.000. Our actual losses in the Wilderness were rather under than over 20.000, and at Spottsylvaula jnst about as many. These corrections, however, make no difl'erenco in the aggregates given above.
"Whether the foregoing returns of losses do or do not include those of Burnside's (9th) corps before it was formally incorporated with the Army of the Potomac, is not stated; but, as they do not include the losses in the Army of the James, it is safe to conclude that the killed, wounded, and missing of 1864, in our armies operating directly for the reduction of Richmond, reached the appalling aggregate of 100,000 men. If we assume that, of nearly 54,000 wounded
and 24,000 missing (most of the latter prisoners, of whom few of the able-bodied were exchanged during that year), 30,000 recovered of their wounds, or were recaptured, or escaped from the enemy, it leaves our net losses in that campaign not less than 70,000. The enemy's net loss, including 15,373 prisoners, after deducting the wounded who recovered and returned to their colors, we may safely estimate at 40,000, though they would doubtless make it less. Dur
"Heth says that, if ho had remained, he would have been attacked next morning by
15,000 infantry and Hampton's cavalry. His lack of ammunition compellod withdrawal
ing the many desperate combats of this bloody year, the Army of the Potomac lost only 25 and gained but 32 guns. Its losses of guns were mainly incurred at Reams's station; its gains were chiefly made at Spottsylvania.
Grant's conduct of this campaign was not satisfactory to the Confederate critics, who gave a decided preference to the strategy of McClellan. They hold that the former aimed only to overpower and crush by brute force—by the employment of overwhelming numbers—and by a lavish expenditure of blood. Doubtless, a great military genius, such as appears once in two or three centuries, might have achieved them at a smaller cost; as a timid, hesitating,
purposeless commander would have failed to achieve them at all. The merit which may be fairly claimed for Grant is that of resolutely undertaking a very difficult and formidable task, and executing it to the best of his ability—at all events, doing it. That, when south of the James, he was just where the Rebels wished him not to be, they showed by desperate and hazardous efforts to draw him thence; and the proof was duplicated in the final collapse of the Rebellion. Other campaigns were more brilliant; but none contributed more positively and eminently to break the power of the Confederates than that which began on the Rapidan and ended in front of Petersburg and across the Weldon road.
WEST VIRGINIA AND NORTH OF THE RAPIDAN
The 'Anaconda' is a clumsy, sluggish beast; effecting his ends by an enormous, even lavish expenditure of force; but Grant's anaconda differed from that of Scott and McClellan in being thoroughly alive. The simultaneous National advance in 1864 from all points, against the armies and remaining strongholds of the Rebellion, was not merely ordered; it was actually attempted—with many reverses at the outset, and no decidedly encouraging results for some months, but with ultimately overwhelming success.
Before Gen. Grant had been placed in chief command, there had been several collisions in western and
northern Virginia. The first occurredl at Jonesville, in the extreme west of old Virginia, near Cumberland gap, held by Maj. Beers with 300 Illinoisans and 3 guns, who were surrounded, surprised, and captured by Sam. Jones, after a smart contest, in which our loss was 60. The excuse for holding an outpost thus exposed was the necessity of collecting forage for our larger force at Cumberland gap.
A nearly simultaneous raid by FitzHugh Lee's cavalry, on the line of the Baltimore and Ohio railroad west of Cumberland, came to nothing; but a later expedition, sent under Rosser over into West Virginia from the Valley by Early, surprised* a train
1 Jan. 3, 1864.
1 Jan. 30.