War of the Rebellion: Serial 068 Page 0279 Chapter XLVIII. ENGAGEMENT AT PETERSBURG.

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from their feet as they passed it. The fact that it was not heard many miles is now ascertained, because you surprised and captured in the morning the enemy's pickets, hours after the cavalry crossed, within 3 miles in a straight line of this very bridge, and they say, upon examination, that they did not hear then of the movement. You did not move until 5.30 a. m., an hour after sunrise. You did not reach the enemy's outer pickets until after 8 o'clock, and you made no such demonstration as caused any alarm in Petersburg until 9 o'clock, as is evidenced by the fact that General Kautz's command captured a schoolmaster, whom I have examined, who was in his school in Petersburg after 9 o'clock, when the first alarm was given.

You further say in your report that-

It was understood as essential that the attack should be a quick, decisive push to prevent re-enforcements to the enemy from their forces on our front north of the Appomattox, only about two hours' march distant.

They had 7 miles to march to Petersburg, and 3 to the entrenchments, while you had but 4 to march. If they used the same rate of progress that you did, it would be a matter of easy calculation at what time the enemy's re-enforcements would arrive. But your forget to state that it was agreed upon on my part that my artillery should open all along my line in an active demonstration upon their forces, to keep them before us while you made your movement, and that that opening by me was to be upon the first gun being heard from you, and I waited at the signal station with my glass on where your column should have been until nearly 9 o'clock, and then opened immediately, as was agreed upon, on hearing your first gun, and with such effect that no forces left the front and passed to Petersburg until after you returned within your own entrenchments. This was made certain by the observations of the signal officers, who commanded both the turnpike and the railroad, being the only communication between the enemy in our front and Petersburg. You have endeavored to state in your report what my orders to Generals Kautz and Hinks were. That was no part of your report required by my order. I knew what my orders to them were without any information from that source.

You further say in your report, "Hawley drove in the enemy's pickets on the City Point road shortly after 6 a. m., and about 7 was before the enemy's works." There must certainly be a very grave mistake here. You say in your dispatch to me that you moved at 5.30 a. m. You were then 4 miles from the enemy's works, and unless they advanced their pickets much farther than usual, and your rate of progress was much faster than when in your own lines, you could not have reached his pickets at 6 o'clock, nor could you have been before his works at 7, nor were you there at that time, because when before his works, when within cannon range, he opened fire upon you, and that first gun was much nearer 9 than 7. And Colonel Hawley will tell you if you will ask him, as he has told me, that he never did drive in the enemy's pickets at any time during the day, much less at 6 o'clock in the morning.

You say further, in your report that General Kautz was expected to reach the enemy's works at 9 o'clock. As it was understood that his march was at least 15 miles to your 4, and as he expressly said that he should only march upon a walk, how could you suppose that he could accomplish the 15 miles in nearly the same time that it