War of the Rebellion: Serial 080 Page 0169 Chapter LII. THE RICHMOND CAMPAIGN.

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the roads toward White Oak Swamp. Hampton fell on Gregg, handling him severely, but he was finally driven off, and the command reached the James and were safely ferried over near Fort Powhatan, on the 29th of June.

On the 21st of June, the Ninth Corps relieving the Second, and the Eighteenth the Sixth, these two corps were moved across the Jerusalem plank road, to which road the Fifth Corps was extended. The Second Corps was placed in position on the left of the Fifth and an effort for several days was made by means of the Sixth Corps to extend the lines to the Weldon railroad. The enemy resisted most persistently, and several skirmishes and small affairs were had, in which, owing to the character of the country, being a dense thicket, and want of knowledge on our part of the topography, the enemy was enabled to defeat our purpose, capturing a number of prisoners and taking from Gibbon's division, Second Corps, four guns. The lines were established about half way to the Weldon road, but before they could be extended, early in July, the Sixth Corps was ordered from this army to Washington. This necessitated a contraction of our lines, the left being drawn in to the Jerusalem plank road and there refused.

On the 22nd of June Wilson, with his division of cavalry and Kautz's division of the Department of Virginia and North Carolina, proceeded to Burkeville the junction of the Danville and South Side railroads, with a view of destroying both these roads and cutting the enemy's communications. Wilson crossed the Weldon road at Reams' Station, destroying the depot and several miles of road, and struck the South Side road about fifteen miles from Petersburg, destroying some twenty-two miles of this road to near Nottoway Station, where he met W. H. F. Lee's division of cavalry, and after a sharp fight defeated him. Kautz reached Burkeville on the afternoon of the 23d, where he destroyed the station and track and moved to Meherrin Station, forming a junction at this place with Wilson the 24th of June. The two then destroyed the road as far as Roanoke bridge, a distance of twenty-five miles. At this point the enemy was in position and could not be dislodged. In returning Wilson met on the evening of the 28th the enemy's cavalry in force at the Weldon railroad crossing of Stony Creek, where he had a severe engagement. He then made a detour by his left, and endeavored to reach Reams' Station, presuming it to be in our possession; but he here encountered not only the enemy's cavalry but a strong force of infantry. Being largely outnumbered he was overwhelmed and forced to retire with the loss of his trains and artillery, but succeeded in crossing the Nottoway and coming in on our left and rear, bringing nearly all his command with him. The first intimation I had of Wilson's situation was the intelligence brought by one of his aides, who cut his way through from Reams' Station. The Sixth Corps was immediately sent to that point and Sheridan ordered up with the cavalry, but before the troops could reach the affair was over and the enemy withdrawn. Although regretting the disaster at the termination of the expedition, the brilliant success of the operation and the heavy injuries inflicted on the enemy were deemed ample compensation for the losses we sustained.

The greater portion of July was devoted to strengthening the line of entrenchment from the Jerusalem plank road to the Appomattox, constructing redoubts and siege batteries. On the 26th of July, this line being held by the Fifth, Ninth, and Eighteenth Corps, the Second Corps, with two divisions of cavalry under Sheridan, the whole under