War of the Rebellion: Serial 088 Page 0275 Chapter LIV. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. - UNION.

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advance on the right through dense woods, which makes it slow and difficult,as it is almost impossible to command the ment there. I cannot say how much our loss is yet. Colonel Peirson, of the Thirty-ninth Massachusetts, is said to be mortally wounded.* We have some of the enemy's wounded in our possession. General Hayes had his horse killed. The Fifteenth [New York] Heavy artillery have behaved remarkably well.

G. K. WARREN,

Major-General.

HEADQUARTERS FIFTH ARMY CORPS,

August 18, 1864-7 p. m.

Major-General HUMPHREYS,

Chief of Staff:

GENERAL: I have already got my line as close to the enemy as I can and made arrangements for entrenching it. My pickets connect with the Ninth Corps across nearly east and west from the Strong house.

The enemy is throwing up breast-works between me and Petersburg, and already has a good line. I think I can hold on here for a hard fight if I can keep up the communication with the Ninth Corps. It has been a hard day on the men and the fight to-day was severe on both sides. My right is in sight of the main entrenchments of Petersburg, but nearly one mile and three-quarters off. I understand that I am expected to make myself as strong here as I can, hold on till I am forced to leave, and destroy the railroad as much as possible. Unfortunately, the wet weather will interfere very much with our heating the rails. The telegraph line may get in operation to-night. The enemy advanced to-day at 2 p. m. in two lines for the front of one of my division, perhaps 6,000 men. We broke the first line at once, but the second forced ours back, outflanking Ayres by a portion giving way on his left. His division, however, finally repulsed the attack on him. General Crawford did not received so heavy an assault except on his left, and this was the only part of his line that gave back, but it also advanced again. The enemy's proximity to his fortified line enabled him to act with boldness, and i do not now think he considered us strong and made his effort to drive us from the railroad. He has taken some prisoners from us to-day and now knows our strength. If he tries again, it will have to be with a very large force to succeed.

Respectfully,

G. K. WARREN,

Major-General.

HEADQUARTERS FIFTH ARMY CORPS,

August 18, 1864-8.30 p. m.

Major-General HUMPHREYS:

I will send up a sketch of my line to-night by an orderly. You can have a good idea of my front toward Petersburg by taking a point on the Weldon railroad three-quarters of a mile north of Dunlop's and drawing a line direct to our advanced line on the plank road. Our pickets will not have more than half a mile to connect straight across and it will be done in the morning. My fire commands half a mile west of the railroad. My line extends south of Dunlops's nearly a mile and

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*Colonel Peirson survived his wound

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