Seizing the enemy's communications between their capital and the south you held them till the 26th of May.
Meanwhile your cavalry, under General August V. Kautz, cut the Weldon road below Petersburg twice over and destroyed a portion of the Danville railroad, while the colored cavalry, under Colonel Robert M. West, joined you by a march from Williamsburg across the Chickahominy to Harrison's Landing.
From the 12th to the 16th of May you "moved on the enemy's works" around Fort Darling, holding him in check while your cavalry cut the Danville road, capturing his first line of works, repulsing with great slaughter his attack, which was intended for your destruction.
Retiring at leisure to your position, with nearly your whole effective strength, under Major General William F. Smith, you again appeared at White House within forty-eight hours after you received the order to march, participating at the memorable battle of Cold Harbor with the Army of the Potomac, where the number and character of your gallant dead attest your bravery and conduct.
Again returning in advance of that army on the 15th of June, under General Smith, the Eighteenth Corps captured the right of the line of defenses around Petersburg, and nine pieces of artillery, which lines you have since held for three months.
On the 16th of June a portion of the Tenth Corps, under Brigadier General Alfred H. Terry, again threw itself upon the enemy's communications between Richmond and Petersburg, and destroyed miles of the road, and holding it cut for days.
The Tenth Corps, on the 14th day of August, passing the James at Deep Bottom, under Major General David B. Birney, by a series of brilliant charges carried the enemy's works near New Market, and, two days later, another line of works at Fussell's Mill, defended by the best troops of Lee's army, bringing back four guns and three battle-flags as trophies of their valor.
Again crossing the James on the 29th of September, with both corps, with celerity, precision, secrecy, and promptness of movements seldom equaled, with both corps in perfect co-operation, you assaulted and carried at the same moment-the Tenth Corps and the Third Division of the Eighteenth Corps, under General Birney-the enemy's strong works with double lines of abatis at Spring Hill, near New Market, while the remaining divisions of the Eighteenth Corps, under Major General Edward O. C. Ord, carried by assault Battery Harrison, capturing twenty-two pieces of heavy ordnance-the strongest of the enemy's works around Richmond.
The army thus possessed itself of the outer line of the enemy's works and advanced to the very gates of Richmond. So vital was your success at Battery Harrison that on the 1st October [September 30], under the eye of General Lee himself, massing his best troops, the enemy made most determined assaults upon your lines to retake it and were driven back, with the loss of seven battle-flags and the almost annihilation of a brigade (Clingman's). After a week's preparation,