War of the Rebellion: Serial 095 Page 0904 N. AND SE. VA., N. C., W. VA., MD., AND PA. Chapter LVIII.

Search Civil War Official Records

toward Hatcher's Run. At first the enemy attempted resistance, but he was soon broken, and the entire rebel line from the point of attack to Hatcher's Run, with all his artillery and a large number of prisoners, was in our possession. In making this movement the Second Brigade, First Division, was left at the point of assault to hold what we had gained and to resist any force the enemy might send from Petersburg. Portions of this brigade and a part of the Second Division picket-line gained a considerable extent of the enemy's line of works to the right of the point of attack, while the rest of the corps was engaged toward the left, a portion of which it was unable to hold against the attacks of a considerable force sent from Petersburg. On reaching Hatcher's Run (a small portion of the force crossed it) I learned from staff officers of the lieutenant-general that the Second and Fifth Corps and the cavalry were sweeping down in that direction, and that it was not necessary to proceed farther. I therefore turned and moved toward Petersburg.

While halted and reforming near Hatcher's Run, one division of the Twenty-fourth Corps and a command of colored troops came in across the lines we had captured, and another division of the same corps came in by way of Fort Fisher to the support of the brigade which had been left to take care of our rear. At the request of Major-General Gibbon, commanding Twenty-fourth Corps, the division first referred to was allowed to pass the Sixth Corps, which immediately followed, returning to the original point of attack. Thence the troops were again pushed forward to closely invest Petersburg-the Second Division and the First and Third Brigades of the First Division being sent to the support of the left of the Ninth Corps, which was reported to be hard pressed. The Third Division moved up to the position finally occupied with little resistance. The Second Division formed promptly on the left of the Twenty-fourth Corps and moved rapidly forward, under a considerable fire of artillery and musketry, till the position near the Whitworth house was gained, when our lines were halted. The two brigades of the First Division gained the left of the Second Division as promptly as possible and moved forward with it, its left somewhat refused and reaching to the Appomattox. Several batteries of the enemy, which were very dashingly handled, occasioned some loss, but were driven back from point to point into the rebel works, with the exception of one, which was captured after its horses had been shot down by our skirmishers. On reaching the position finally occupied there was an interval of at least half a mile between the left of the Twenty-fourth Corps and the right of Getty's division, which was covered only by our skirmishers, but which was subsequently filled by Mott's division, of the Second Corps. On reaching the position referred to the men were so exhausted as to make an assault upon the enemy's lines unadvisable. The corps had been under arms for nearly eighteen hours; had assaulted the strong lines of the enemy; swept down them several miles and returning had moved upon Petersburg, some miles farther. It was therefore determined not to attack that night; but, under orders from Major-General Meade, the artillery was put in position and the troops prepare for an assault at daylight the next morning. On advancing the next morning it was ascertained that the place had been evacuated during the night, and preparations were at once made for the pursuit, and by 8 o'clock the troops were in motion, following the River road.