War of the Rebellion: Serial 080 Page 0024 OPERATIONS IN SE. VA. AND N. C. Chapter LII.

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all this notwithstanding he had with him two divisions of the Sixth Corps, in addition to his own force. I was misinformed respecting Wilson's cavalry. It has not yet crossed the bridge at Fort Powhatan. It remains north of the river to guard the great herd of cattle, which is not yet up, but will be there before dark. The cattle will be swum over and then the remaining troops will cross. I got my information, erroneous information, from General Grant, who had received it from some officer of General Meade's. No news from Petersburg since morning. General Grant is now there.


CITY POINT, VA., June 18, 1864-8 a.m.

General Burnside attacked at 3 p.m. yesterday with Willcox's division and gained ground. He attacked again at 8 p.m. with Ledlie's (late Crittenden's) division, carrying what prisoners and deserters reported to be the enemy's last and main line on that part of the defenses of Petersburg. Ledlie suffered severely, but no figures are yet reported, either of loss or captures. In the night Ledlie was driven back, but at 2 a.m. the rebels evacuated the line. Deserters report that they have taken up a shorter one, enveloping the railroad bridge. General Meade reported at 5.30 this morning that he was moving forward to find and feel them, but that his men were so worn out with marching, fighting, and digging that they must have rest, unless some great opportunity should present itself. No report from General Butler since my last dispatch. He was ordered to retake the position which the enemy had reoccupied, after leaving it open to him for thirty hours, but no sounds of his guns have been heard to indicate an attempt, though the two divisions of the Sixth Corps had been sent him expressly to secure the position. He had not even a line of battle or a cannon placed up the heights. With regard to the two French officers who wish to come here General Grant now desires me to say that he will be glad to have them, but wishes them to understand that the campaign is carried on under the greatest inconveniences as respect personal comfort. Everything is across the river at Powhatan. The brigade was taken up at 3 a.m. to-day.


Honorable E. M. STANTON.

Secretary of War.

CITY POINT, VA., June 19, 1864-9 a.m..

(Received 4.20 p.m)

General Meade advanced his forces yesterday morning until he found enemy occupying a new and shorter line of intrenchments, about a mile in front of Petersburg. Believing from the unanimous statement of prisoners that there was no force in his front except Beauregard's three divisions he determined by a vigorous effort to push them over the Appomattox. A general assault was ordered at noon, and Martindale, having two divisions of the Eighteenth and one of the Sixth Corps, attacked promptly and successfully, occupying enemy's line, and taking some 40 prisoners. Birney attacked at the same time, but made no progress. About 2 p.m., Warren and Burnside having got ready, advanced for considerable distance without reaching enemy's main line. About 4 p.m. Birney again assaulted with nine brigades, but was not