several hundred prisoners, killing and wounding a large number. 11 a. m., wrote a note, by direction of General Hancock, to Brigade-General Foster (Army of the James), whose command was on our left next the river, that the enemy was attacking general Sheridan and advising General Forester to make a demonstration on his front. Mott's division ordered to leave its present line and form in captured entrenchments on right of brigade, Tenth [Nineteenth] Corps, along New Market and Malvern Hill road. General Gibbon also withdrawn from New Market and Long Bridge road and formed on Mott's right, extending his line across open plain in rear and throwing up entrenchments. Barlow with drawn to same line about dusk. 5 p. m., Generals Grant and Meade visited General Hancock. Fire of gun-boat Mendota, Commander Nichols, very effective to-day, nearly every shell alighting in the enemy's works,and as they are 18-inch shell make the "Johnnies" skip around amazingly. 8 p. m., General Mott's division commenced recrossing the James at pontoon at Jones' Neck, having been ordered to march across the Appomattox and report to General Ord (Eighteenth Corps) in front of Petersburg. Quiet on our line at dark.
July 29, 1864. - Position of troops as follows this morning: General Gibbon on the right of infantry from New Market and Malvern Hill road across plain; cavalry on Gibbon's right to James River. First Division, General Miles in command, from "gate posts" on New Market road (Malvern Hill), connecting with Gibbon's left, to edge of wood near the Potteries, holding the rifle-pits. Brigadier-General Birge's command (Tenth [Nineteenth] Corps) on left of First Division, extending to Bailey's Creek, extreme left resting at a point where that creek becomes an impassable swamp. General Gibbon's troops throwing up rifle-pits, artillery in position on plain in front of the bridge-head and along our line of battle. our picket-line extends from left of Birge's brigade across fields in front of Potteries to New Market and Long Bridge road, thence to junction of New Market and Central roads, thence refused to the right and connecting with cavalry pickets. 5.30 p. m., a staff officer reported to General Hancock that enemy was advancing with dismounted cavalry in front of our pickets on New Market road near Ruffin's house. Generals Miles and Gibbon ordered to look after this matter. The advance of the enemy was weak and easily repulsed. Orders received to recross James River to-night and march to position in rear of Eighteenth Corps, which is in entrenchments in front of Petersburg. Accordingly, when it grew dark, the troops commenced recrossing the James at Jones' Neck. 11.15 p. m., both divisions, First and Second, are across the James. Mott's division crossed yesterday. Troops marched all night to assume position supporting Eighteenth Corps in front of Petersburg.
July 30, 1864. - 4.45 a. m., at this hour the head of our column had arrived nearly in rear of the Eighteenth Corps, and we witnessed the explosion of an immense mine under one of the enemy's redoubts. This mine has been under way for a long time and was most successfully run, notwithstanding the fact that the enemy was aware from deserters and other sources that we were mining their lines at some point. A very large quantity of powder, 10,000 pounds, I believe, was placed in the chambers of the mine, which were directly under a redoubt heavily garrisoned with troops and artillery. The earth was thrown to a great height, and seemed, from where we stood, to rise in the air like an enormous whirlwind. the whole redoubt must have been torn to pieces and many men killed. Immediately all of our artillery opened, and I have scarcely ever heard a more crashing roar of big guns; very soon the little valley along which the entrenchments ran was covered