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The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies

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OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 46, Part 1 (Appomattox Campaign)
Page 1018 N. AND SE.VA., N.C., W.VA., MD., AND PA. Chapter LVIII.

whilst the others are only attacking an outer line, which the enemy might give up without giving up Petersburg. Parke should either advance rapidly or cover his men and hold all he gets.

ALEX. S. WEBB,

Brevet Major-General and Chief of Staff.

At 7.45 I received the following dispatch:


HEADQUARTERS ARMY OR THE POTOMAC,
April 2, 1865-7.40.

Major-General PARKE:

The general commanding directs that you hold on to all you have got, and not to advance unless you see your way clear.

ALEX. S. WEBB,

Brevet Major-General and Chief of Staff.

About this time the enemy made an attempt to get up a charge on us, but our fire was so hot that they did not get many men outside their lines. We then held a distance of about 400 yards on each side of the Jerusalem plank road, including several forts and redans. The enemy made no further movements, with the exception of being very busy planting more guns and keeping up an incessant and murderous fire of sharpshooters, until just before 11 o'clock, when he made a heavy and determined assault on the captured line, but we repulsed him at all points with much loss. It being evident to me that the enemy was resolved to regain at all hazards the portion of their lines held by us, and nearly all my reserve being in, and learning from General Wright that he was moving toward Hatcher's Run, leaving a wide gap between us, I deemed it advisable to report the state of affairs to Army headquarters, and request re-enforcements. My request was promptly complied with, and Benham's and Collis brigades from City Point, and Hambin's brigade, of the Sixth Corps, were ordered to my support. The enemy continued to make heavy and desperate attempts to recapture his lost works, but without success. But though my men stood up nobly to their work this long and wearisome struggle was beginning to tell upon them. At about 3 p.m. the enemy succeeded in regaining a few of the traverses on the left, which gave them a flank fire upon a small detached work on the left of plank road, held by one of the regiments of Curtin's brigade, and occasioned its temporary abandonment, but General Collis reporting to me with his brigade about this time I at once but him in under direction of General Griffin, and the enemy was again driven from the portion of line he had just retaken. Between 4 and 5 p.m. General Hamblin arrived with his brigade from the Sixth Corps, and I directed him to report to General Hartranft, by whom he was placed in support of the left of his line. These re-enforcements having rendered my line secure I was disposed to make another effort to drive the enemy from his position in the rear, but the exhausted condition of my troops forced me to reluctantly abandon the idea.

We accordingly strengthened ourselves as much as possible, whenever practicable transferring the enemy's chevaux-de-frise to the front of the reversed line, and on the right connecting by a cross line the extreme point we held with our main line. Desultory firing continued nearly all night. The batteries on the right fired at intervals all night at the bridge across the Appomattox.

The troops were instructed to exercise the greatest vigilance for the purpose of detecting the expected evacuation of the enemy, or any other movements of his.

At about 2 a.m. we commenced feeling their positions with skirmishers, but found their pickets still out. At about 4 a.m. we succeeded in


Page 1018 N. AND SE.VA., N.C., W.VA., MD., AND PA. Chapter LVIII.
OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 46, Part 1 (Appomattox Campaign)
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