War of the Rebellion: Serial 087 Page 0032 Chapter LIV. OPERATIONS IN SE. VA. AND N. C.

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the Duncan road, where he was guarding the left and rear; but repulsed the enemy, inflicting heavy losses on him and killing Brigadier-General Dunovant.

On the 2nd of October the whole force advanced, but found the enemy had withdrawn to his main entrenched line. A position was then taken up and the necessary works laid out to extend our entrenched line to the position gained.

On October 27 part, of the Ninth, Fifth,, and Second Corps, together with Gregg's division of cavalry, moved from the left in reconnaissance. The enemy was found in a line strongly entrenched, extending in front of the boydton plank road down nearly to Armstrong's Mill. Wherever he was confronted by the Ninth and Fifth Corps his position was deemed too strong to attack. The Second Corps and Gregg's division, under Major-General Hancock, succeeded in crossing Hatcher's Run on the Vaughan road, and reaching the Boydton plank near Burgess' Tavern, encountering only slight opposition from the enemy's cavalry. About 4 p. m., however, the enemy attacked Hancock and Gregg with great force, but was in every instance repulsed. Crawfor'd division, Fifth Corps, had been crossed at Armstrong's Mill and had moved up Hatchrer's Run, with a view of connecting with Hancock, but the serpentine nature of this stream, and the dense thicket through which Crawford had to move, prevented the junction being made. No object being attainable by remaining in the positions gained, the troops were on the 28th, withdrawn to the lines of entrenchments.

The foregoing is a brief synopsis of the principal movements of this army. It is proper I should add that they always originated in direct orders from the lieutenant-general commanding, and that almost always the exceptions being rare, the details received his sanction before the movements were executed.

I transmit herewith a return of casualties during the campaign, showing the number of killed, wounded, and missing; a statement of the captures of guns, colors, and prisoners,* together with a map+ illustrating the several movements of the army. These papers are honorable records of the sacrifices and achievements of this army. That its efforts have not resulted in more decided success in due to the policy adopted by the enemy of acting strictly on the defensive; to the topographical features of the country, admirably adapted for defense; to the accurate and familiar knowledge of the topography possessed by the enemy, and our ignorance of the same; to the superior mobility of the enemy, arising from his better knowledge of the country, and his having shorter lines to traverse; all of which causes combined to frustrate the efforts to bring him to battle in an open field, but enabled him, at each successive move, to interpose his army in a strong position till he was finally driven to the long-prepared defenses of his capital.

This army has done its duty nobly. The thanks of the country are due to all branches of the service. The artillery and engineers are deserving of special commendation for their incessant and arduous labors since occupying the lines before Petersburg. The limits of this report will not justify my enumerating individual instances of gallantry and distinguished services. To the corps and subordinate commanders, to the chiefs and officers of the several staff departments, and to my personal staff, I have been indebted from the commencement of the campaign for zealous co-operation and faithful discharge of their


* See Vol. XXXVI, Part I, pp. 195 and 196.


+Not found.