War of the Rebellion: Serial 068 Page 0302 Chapter XLVIII. OPERATIONS IN SE. VA. AND N. C.

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that such works,covering a point almost perfectly vital to the rebellion, were not left without defenders, indeed we saw them, and heard from them. I t was my deliberate opinion them, and now, that an assault upon the formidable work near the railroad (and it would have been contrary to all sound rules to leave that behind or dodge it) promised to be a most murderous affair, with the odds largely against us. I knew nothing of the real forces of the enemy within the town. It was evident that they were ion the alert. I could not extend far enough on the right to drive into town all their sharp shooters. I knew not what force night be over on the right toward the Appomattox, and I should not have deed to put all my force into one assault. Then, if but 400 could have been, in my front to oppose, with a few pieces of artillery, they ought in all reason to have repulsed me. That main work in on high ground, and rises well above that even, and a large portion of the ground about it is almost impassable. My left, where an assault would have been made, was as near as it ought to be before making a final disposition for a charge. Nothing remaining to do but to assault. What can be said now after the event, and with advantages for knowing perhaps fully the forces and movements of the enemy inside, I do not know; but of this I am as well convicted as ever, I was right in thinking that an assault was not advisable. Had we carried that work we should still have had 2 miles to go to reach the railroad brigade, the chief object in view I suppose, with still further defenses, troops (in sight, and creek and houses in our way, and further-

more without the expectation of any more aid, and with the intention of returning that night to Bermuda Hundred. Had new been ordered to storm the works, we should have gone up of course, and adapting ourselves to the circumstances, should have made the fight as savage, short, and sharp as possible. I am glad, however, that what I call better counsels prevailed.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JOS. R. HAWLEY,

Colonel Seventh Connecticut, Commanding Brigade.

Numbers 8. Report of Lieutenant Colonel Lorenzo Meeker, Sixth Connecticut Infantry.

HDQRS. SIXTH REGIMENT CONNECTICUT VOLUNTEERS,

Bermuda Hundred, Va., June 11, 1864.

SIR: I have the honor to submitted the following report concerning the part taken by this regiment in the reconnaissance toward Petersburg, Va., June 9, 1864:

About 11 p. m. the 8th instant the regiment moved from its camp rear of the entrenchments at Bermuda Hundred, marched in a circuitous route to Point of Rocks, and crossed the Appomattox River about 2 o'clock 9th instant. Halted on the south side of the river until sunrise, when we commenced our line of march toward Petersburg. With the exception of Companies D and G, the regiment was not actively engaged, acting only as a support to the advanced lines. About 8.30 a. m. Company D, being detached from the regiment, advanced by orders of Colonel J. R. Hawley, commanding brigade, along the City Point railroad in the direction of