War of the Rebellion: Serial 087 Page 0220 OPERATIONS IN SE. VA. AND N. C. Chapter LIV.

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posed to the fire of both parties, and requesting a flag of truck to cover their removal. Under the authority of General Grant a cessation of hostilities from 4 until 6 p. m. was arranged for the purpose indicated by General Birney. I was somewhat mortified to find that a mistake had been made in the matter, for not one wounded man was found, the enemy having removed all of ours and buried some of the dead. General Chambliss' body was delivered to the enemy during this truce. At 5 p. m. I received a dispatch from Lieutenant-General Grant, saying that the position obtained by General Grant telling me that General Warren would move from our left to the Weldon railroad at 4 a. m. on the 18th, and desiring me to take advantage of any opportunity for success in my front. On the 18th General Barlow was compelled by sickness to give up the command of his division to General Miles. This day passed with skirmishing and reconnoitering the enemy's position until 5.30 p. m., when the enemy came out of their works above Fussell's Mill and attacked General Birney. The fight lasted about thirty minutes, when the enemy were repulsed with considerable loss. General Miles, with the First and Fourth Brigades of his command, took part in this affair, attacking the enemy on his left flank. At the same time the enemy appeared in considerable force on the road from the Charles City road over White Oak Swamp, driving Gregg's cavalry away from the cross-roads and obtaining a position on the Charles City road some three miles in rear of General Gregg's position at Deep Creek. As usual, under such circumstances, the enemy were reported moving my rear (toward Malvern Hill) with infantry and artillery, and the fire being brisk in that direction, I sent Miles' brigade out to support Gregg, but the brigade did not engage the enemy. General Gregg kept up his communication with Deep Creek by and interior wood road, and the enemy retired from the cross-roads on the following morning. At 8 p. m. General Mot was ordered to Petersburg to relieve the Ninth Corps from the entrenchments. This made a contraction of our lines necessary, and the following dispositions were made: Smyth's division held from Bailey's Creek, on the New Market road, to the right along the wood road leading to the Long Bridge road, connecting with Miles' division, which held nearly to Ruffin's, on the Long Bridge road. The Tenth Corps occupied the high ground near Ruffin's, covering the approaches from the right. The picket-line remained unchanged, except that the right was withdrawn somewhat.

On the 19th, at 10.30 a. m., I received a dispatch from General Grant informing me that the enemy had sent a division to Petersburg, and advising me not to hesitate to attack with my whole force if I found a weak point. No such point had been discovered, but I spent two or three hours in a close examination of the line, and finally concluded to attack a little to the left of where General Barlow had failed on the 15th. The detailed order had been prepared for the assault, which was to be made by a portion of Miles' division and a brigade of colored troops from Birney, all under command of General Miles. I thought the chance of carrying the line a fair one, the main difficulty being in holding the position, or in gaining any decisive advantage from it. I described the position fully to General Grand, and at his suggestion the projected assault was abandoned. About 1 p. m. I was requested to send a brigade of cavalry to General Meade if I could spare it. General Gregg was at once ordered to send the brigade. Nothing of great interest occurred during the 20th. Im-