War of the Rebellion: Serial 068 Page 0288 Chapter XLVIII. OPERATIONS IN SE. VA. AND N. C.

Search Civil War Official Records

onel Hawley did not get their commands across the Appomattox until 3.40 a. m. yesterday, at which time I sent you the following dispatch:


Broadway, June 9, 1864-3.40 a. m.

Major-General BUTLER.

My command has just crossed the river; some of it has been delayed by losing the road. I have no doubt the enemy are fully apprised of our movement by the noise of the brigade. It is not muffled at all, and the crossing of the cavalry can be heard for miles.

Very respectfully,



Your instructions to me were to attack the Petersburg defenses at there points. These defenses are known to be in front of the place, 2 1\2 or 3 miles distant from it, with the ends resting on the Appomattox above and below the city. Kautz's cavalry were to pass around to the left and attack on the Jerusalem road. The infantry were to strike the line nearer to us. These instructions were verbal. The only written orders I got from you were contained in your dispatch of the 8th, 5.10 p. m., that, "This is not to be artillery work, but a quick, decisive push." This was understood to be essential to prevent re-enforcements to the enemy from their forces in our front north of the Appomattox, only about two hours' march distant. From the pontoon bridge the command took the road via Copsa's. Kautz's cavalry passed them at 5 a. m., followed by Hinks and Hawley. The following orders were given to General Hinks at this time:

COPSA'S, June 9-5 a. m.

Brigadier-General HINSK:

In the attack about to take place in the defenses of Petersburg you are to take the Jordan's Point road, following General Kautz until you strike that road. Unless the attack is made promptly and vigorously there will be danger of failure, as the enemy will re-enforce petersburg from their lines in front of General Terry. Should you penetrate the town before General Kautz, who is to attack on the Jerusalem road, the public buildings, public stores, bridges across the Appomattox, depots, and cars, are all to be destroyed. Communicate with me on the City Point road.



This was the only written order to General Hinks. General Kautz had received his orders from yourself in general terms. They were that while the infantry engaged the works on the right he should force the entrenchments on the left, enter the town, accomplish the desired destruction of property, and return. I was ordered to bring back the infantry taken from the entrenchments the same evening. 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. On the Jordan's point road Hinsk drove the enemy into their works and pushed up to within 50 yards of them. My aide, Lieutenant Barnard, went frequently to General Hinks. About 10 a. m. I received a message from the general that he had been obliged to withdraw somewhat to get a better position; that two regiments had been added to the enemy's force in his front; that two of the enemy's redoubts in his front were each armed with a field battery, and that it would be impossible to carry that place by assault. I ordered General Hinks to hold his position and keep the enemy within his entrenchments. He replied that he thought he could do it. On Colonel Halwey's front the enemy were never entirely within their works, but fought