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several brigades massed, both to support and assist them, came up, and the formidable force on Hare's Hill, with a considerable portion of the heavy line of works adjoining and connecting with it, were charged and captured, additional prisoners and numerous mortars and guns falling into our hands. Unfortunately some of the Yankees, who had escaped in the darkness, fled and aroused the men in the rear line of works; and the alarm was quickly spread throughout the reserve camps behind, so that a formidable force was soon alert. By the time our troops had formed into line on either side of the captured fort the enemy was thoroughly aroused, and was prepared for further offensive operations on our side; otherwise the advance of our troops would have been irresistible and successful beyond anticipation. As it was, they came into a position subject to an enfilading fire on either side, and confronted by heavy forts and breast works. The Yankees were not slow to take advantage of the opportunity thus afforded them, and they quickly massed artillery in the neighboring forts and infantry in our front. They made several fierce assaults upon our columns in heavy lines, which were repulsed with great coolness and vigor; and in which, it is believed, the enemy sustained much loss. Finding it impossible to dislodge the Confederates by their infantry attacks, the enemy opened upon them with their artillery. A battery on the river, and Fort Steadman on the right, both so situated as thoroughly to command and enfilade the captured fort and works, belched forth their terrible discharges of shell, grape, and canister into our ranks, and rendered the position almost untenable. Further advance by our troops, in the face of the terrible obstacles that presented themselves, was deemed impracticable, and General Gordon gave the command to retire.

The success of the day was incomplete, and of but little value, although Gordon had shown the greatest gallantry, and the Confederates had fought with a vigor and brilliancy that reminded one of Lee's old campaigns. They had swept the enemy's lines for a distance of four or five hundred yards to the right and left, and two efforts made to recover the captured works had been handsomely repulsed. It was only when it was found that the inclosed works in rear, commanding the enemy's main line, could only be taken at a great

sacrifice, that our troops were withdrawn to their original position.

Gordon captured nine pieces of artillery, eight mortars, and between five and six hundred prisoners, amongst them one brigadier-general and a number of officers of lower grade. It being impracticable to bring off the captured guns, owing to the nature of the ground, they were disabled and left.

CHAPTER XII.

THE BATTLES AROUND PETERSBURG.--The movement of Sheridan's cavalry.-The Five Forks.-General Lee's counter-movement.-Repulse of Sheridan.-Re-enforced by Grant.--The Confederates flanked at the Five Forks.-The situation in front of Petersburg.-Lee's lines broken in three places.--Capture of Fort Mahoue by the enemy.--General Lee loses his entire line of defence, and the Southside Railroad. -THE EVACUATION OF RICHMOND.-Great surprise in the Confederate capital.-The news in the churches.-Dr. Hoge's address.-Consternation and uproar in the streets.-The city on fire.-A reckless military order.--Scenes of horror.--Mobs of plunderers. The scene at the commissary depot.--Weitzel's entry into Richmond. -Suffering of the people.--Scene on Capitol Square.--Devastations of the fire.The burnt district.-Weitzel's and Shepley's general orders.-Yankee rejoicings over the fall of Richmond.--Bell-ringings, hymns, and dancing in the streets of New York. A grand illumination in Washington.-Yankee mottoes.--A memorable speech.

GRANT was quick in retaliating for General Lee's attempt on his lines, which, as we have seen, drove the enemy at Hare's Hill, but did not hold the ground it traversed, or accomplish any decisive results.

THE BATTLES AROUND PETERSBURG.

On the 29th of March, Grant began a heavy movement towards the Southside Railroad. The cavalry command, consisting of General Crook's division and Sheridan's cavalry, moved out on the Jerusalem plankroad, about three and a half miles from Hancock Station, where they took the country road leading across the Weldon Railroad at Ream's Station, and into the Vaughn road one mile from the Dinwiddie Courthouse, General Crook's division going in advance. They reached Dinwiddie Court-house about four o'clock in the evening.

In the mean time the Fifth and Second corps of infantry had been moving in a parallel line on the Vaughn road. Gen

eral Grant's headquarters on the night of the 29th were on the Boydtown Plankroad, in the neighborhood of Gravelly Run.

The next day heavy rains impeded operations; but the force of the enemy pressed on towards the Five Forks, the extreme right of Lee's line on the Southside Railroad.

General Lee had not been idle in meeting this movement. On the 31st of March, the enemy found on his front, prepared to contest the prize of the railroad, Pickett's division of infantry, and General Fitzhugh Lee's and General William H. Lee's divisions of cavalry. In the afternoon of the day, the Confederates made a determined and gallant charge upon the whole cavalry line of the Yankees, forced it back, and drove the enemy to a point within two miles of Dinwiddie Court

house.

But the news of Sheridan's repulse had no sooner reached General Grant, than the Fifth Corps was moved rapidly to his relief. The re-enforcement arrived in time to retrieve the fortunes of the enemy. The next day, April 1st, the combined forces of Yankee cavalry and Warren's infantry advanced against the Confederates. Overpowered by numbers, the Confederates retreated to the Five Forks, where they were flanked by a part of the Fifth Corps, which had moved down the White Oak road. It was here that several thousand prisoners. were taken.

On the night of Saturday, April 1st, the prospect was a most discouraging one for General Lee. Grant had held all his lines in front of Petersburg, had manoeuvred troops far to his left, had turned Lee's right, and was now evidently prepared to strike a blow upon the thin lines in front of Petersburg.

By daylight, on Sunday, April 2d, these lines were assaulted in three different places by as many different Yankee corps. They were pierced in every place. The Sixth Corps went through first, at a point about opposite the western extremity of Petersburg; the Twenty-fourth, a little way further west; and the Ninth Corps further east, near to the Jerusalem plankroad, capturing Fort Mahone, one of the largest forts in the Petersburg defences. The Confederates made a desperate struggle for Fort Mahone, which was protracted through the day, bnt

without success.

At dark the position of the contending par ties was the same as during the day.

The Yankees had congratulated themselves that, by the success of the Sixth Corps, they had cut Lee's army in two-cutting off the troops that were not in Petersburg. As that place was supposed to be the Confederate point of manoeuvre-as it was supposed that troops could not cross the Appomattox except through the city-their capture was taken as certain by the enemy, since they were hemmed in between Sheridan, the Sixth Corps, and the river. But in this they were mistaken. The Confederates easily forded the river; and the close of the day found Lee's army brought together within the inner line of the Petersburg defences.*

* Among the Confederate killed was the brave General A. P. Hill, whose name had been illustriously connected with the Army of Northern Virginia all during the war. He had desired to obtain a nearer view of a portion of the Yankee line during the attack of the 2d of April, and leaving his staff behind in a place of safety, rode forward, accompanied by a single orderly, and soon came upon a squad of Yankees, who had advanced along ravines far beyond their lines. He immediately ordered them to surrender, which they were on the point of doing, under the supposition that a column of troops were at his heels. They soon discovered he was nearly unattended, and shot him through the heart.

General Hill was a native of Culpepper County, Virginia, and descended from an ancient family, famous in the political annals of that portion of the commonwealth; although he himself had had nothing to do with civil or political life. He appeared to be about thirty-six or thirty-seven years of age, and was a soldier by profession. He was graduated at West Point, entered the army, and served in the Mexican war, and made arms not only his profession, but an enthusiastic study, to which he was prompted by the natural tastes and disposition of his mind.

General Hill was, undoubtedly, a commander of remarkable talents and qualities. He had risen rapidly in the war by the force of personal merit. At the famous field of Manassas he was colonel of the Thirteenth Virginia regiment, in General Johnston's army, which, it will be recollected, arrived on the field in time to secure and complete the great victory of that memorable day. At the battle of Williamsburg he had risen to the rank of brigadier-general; and in that fight he exhibited an extraordinary spirit and energy, which were recognized by all who observed his behavior on that field, and drew the eyes of the public upon him.

General Hill made his greatest reputation by his conspicuous part in the seven days' battles around Richmond, in the summer of 1862. Having then been made major-general, he occupied, with his division, the extreme left of our position in the neighborhood of Meadow Bridge. He was put in command of one of the largest divisions of the Army of Richmond, his division being com

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