War of the Rebellion: Serial 095 Page 1017 Chapter LVIII. THE APPOMATTOX CAMPAIGN.

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his front at 4 a.m. I judged this demonstration would most certainly deceive the enemy from the fact learned from deserters, that our main assault was expected on the Fort Stedman front. Accordingly, about 4 a.m., the artillery opened vigorously along the whole line firing for some minutes. General Willcox then promptly pushed out his skirmishers along his whole front, and was very successful in the object proposed. Colonel Bolton, commanding Fifty-first Pennsylvania Volunteers, left to hold Harriman's brigade front, captured some of the enemy's skirmishers near the Crater, and Colonel Ely, commanding the brigade next the river, not only carried their picket-line, but even about 200 yards of the main line, but the enemy concentrating upon him he was forced to retire after holding the position some little time. At about 4.30 a.m. the signal was given for the main attack in front of Fort Sedgwick, and the column moved swiftly and steadily forward. In a moment the enemy's picket-line was carried. the stormers and pioneers rushed on and under a most galling fire cut away and made openings in the enemy's abatis and chevaux-de-frise. They, now closely followed by the assaulting columns, which, undeterred by an exceedingly severe fire of cannon, mortar, and musketry from the now aroused main line, pressed gallantly on, capturing the enemy's works in their front with 12 guns, - colors, and 800 prisoners. Colonel Harriman's column re-enforced by the two reserve regiments swept up to the right until the whole of what was called by the enemy "Miller's Salient" was in our possession. Potter's column swept down to the left. This part of the enemy's line was heavily traversed, affording him a strong foothold, and he fought from traverse to traverse with great tenacity. We drove him slowly back for about a quarter of a mile when, being re-enforced, and aided by strong positions in the rear, he checked our farther progress in that direction. A most gallant but unsuccessful attempt was made to carry his rear line. The captured guns were at once turned upon the enemy, served at first by infantry volunteers, and them by details from the First Connecticut Heavy Artillery Volunteers from the batteries in the rear.

Just after we broke through he enemy's lines, and at a most critical time, I was deprived of the valuable services of Brevet Major-General Potter, who was severely and dangerously wounded. I directed Brigadier General S. G. Griffin to assume command of his division, and by him the division was ably and gallantly commanded during the rest of the day. It being by this time fully daylight no further attempt was made to advance, but attention was turned to securing what we had gained, and restoring the organization of the troops, unavoidably much shattered by the heavy fighting and the advance over broken ground in the darkness. This was rendered the more difficult by the great loss we had sustained in officers, especially field officers, and by my very exposed position occupied by our troops. The captured line was promptly recovered and made tenable as possible, the difficulty being increased by the forts and batteries on that line being open in the rear.

By reason of these untoward circumstances much time elapsed before I considered the troops in sufficiently good shape for another forward movement, and in the meantime I received, at 7.30 a.m., the following dispatch:


April 2, 1865-7.26 a.m.

Major-General PARKE:

General Meade sends, for information, the following from the lieutenant-general:

"As I understand it, Parke is attacking the main line of works around Petersburg,