The Recent Battles Near Petersburg

Vol. Liv --- No. 118.] Baltimore, Wednesday Morning, April 5, 1865 [price One Cent

Remembrance of Gettysburg

September 12, 1999

[Correspondence of the Associated Press.]

Headquarters, Army of the Potomac, Saturday, April 2 -- The most important victory that the Army of the Potomac has ever gained in Virginia was won to-day, and the outer line of the works which we have been trying in vain for months to overcome, has at last yielded to our victorious army, and the greater portion of this army are now, to-night, within a mile and a half of the city on the southwest side.

The struggle made by the enemy to retain these works has been of the most desperate character, and for the great success attained to-day, we are indebted not only to the strategy exercised by our commanders but to the overwhelming number and bravery of the troops that did the work.

The orders for an attack on the line east and south of Petersburg, by the Sixth and Ninth Corps, were carried out punctually at daylight, the artillery having been hammering away the greater part of the night along the line held by these corps. Such a furious cannonade has very seldom been heard during the war, not even surpassed by that which was heard on the occasion of the mine explosion.

The Ninth Corps troops engaged in the action were the Second and Third division and Colonel Samuel Harriman's Brigade of the First division.

The charge was made in front of Forts Hall and Rice, on the Jerusalem road, and was so far successful that by 8 A.M. we were in possession of three fortifications, Fort Mahone being the most extensive and elaborate.

These works contained fourteen guns, some of which were at once opened on the enemy by men belonging to the infantry regiments.

Just inside and about 100 yards from Fort Mahone was another work, to which the rebels retreated, and from which they threw a most destructive fire upon our men, causing them to retire from the northern end, when the rebels made a dash, thinking to recover it entirely. But the guns on the right wing as well as the centre had been manned and shotted, and the assailants driven back.

About noon the chances seemed that we should loose it, but soon after the Provisional Brigade, under Gen. Cellis, and the Engineer Brigade, under Gen. Bonham, with Gen. Hamlin's brigade of the Sixth Corps, came on the ground, and by their timely arrival saved the gallant men in the works from capture, and again caused the enemy to retreat.

The fire which rained on the ground around the fort was of the most fearful character, and to stand and see men advance on a run through the very thickets of it, many of them torn to pieces and lost to view before they crossed half the distance, was a sight not soon to be forgotten.

From this time till late in the afternoon the struggle continued, the enemy using every effort to recover the Fort, while our men were equally determined to retain possession of what they had fought so hard and paid so dearly for. At dark the position of the contending parties was the same as during the day.

General Wilcox, with part of his division, made an attack in front of Fort McGilroy, near the Appomattox, and took part of the line, but was soon after forced to retire to his former position, owing to a lack of supports.

The loss of the Ninth Corps will reach from eight hundred to one thousand in killed and wounded and prisoners, among whom are Gen. Potter, commanding the 2d division, who is badly wounded in the groin, but not fatally, it is thought; Col. Gatchell, of the 31st Maine, severely; Maj. Bolton, 31st Maine, severely; Col. Gregg and Lt. Col. Winslow, of the 179th N.Y., wounded; Maj. Morrow, of the 205th Pa., loss of a leg; Lt. Alexander, same regiment, killed. This corps has taken 14 guns and about 200 prisoners and two battle flags, the latter by the 211th Pa. regiment.

The Sixth Corps struck the enemy's lines in front of Fort Welch, near the celebrated lead works, and carried them, with very slight loss. They at once pushed on for the South Side road, which they reached about 9 o'clock, and in a very short time several miles of it were torn up and destroyed. They then moved on down towards Petersburg, driving the rebels before them across Town run and into their inner line close to the city. The Sixth Corps in this movement took a large number of prisoners -- about 2,000 and some 20 guns.

No attack on the inner line had been made, as yet, as the position is a strong one, and will either be defended to the last, or evacuated during the night.

The Twenty-fourth Corps, holding the line north of Hatcher's run and south of the Duncan road, connecting with the Sixth Corps on the right and the Second Corps on the left, advanced at daylight also, and took the works in their front with slight loss. Over one thousand prisoners were captured here. These troops were Foster's and Turner's divisions, under Gen. Gibbons. They were supported by the colored division of the Twenty-fourth Corps, but the latter did not get into action.

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