Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 16.djvu/406
400 Southern Historical Society Papers.
knowledged to be four thousand. They claimed to have captured four guns, and probably got in addition some two hundred prisoners. Their long range artillery practice on Hagood's front was accurate, as it always was when there was no artillery to reply, and the brigade suffered several casualties.
In the meantime General Beauregard had determined on taking a more compact and shorter line of defence than the one now occupied, and during these two days' fighting it had been partially prepared for occupation. It was this last line which was held during the siege that ensued. It was some eight hundred yards nearer the city, and, like the line first taken, was the chord to an arc of the original de- fences, still more of which was now abandoned. This line was at first a simple trench with the parapet on the further side, and though it was afterwards amplified it retained the general character of a trench and was known as "The Trenches," in distinction from the portion of the original lines retained by us. The last were artillery redoubts connected by infantry breastworks. The "trenches" op- posed Grant's front of attack ; the remaining portion of the enceinte was not assailed until, perhaps, the closing day of the siege in 1865.
At 1:30 A. M. on the i8th, Hagood's brigade moved back on the new line to the position assigned it. His left was again on the Ap- pomattox, thence running southward nearly at right angles to the river, his line crossed the City Point road and extended to the emi- nence known as Hare's Hill, where Colquitt prolonged the general line. The New Market race course was in front of the right of the brigade, and the approach to its position was generally level. By daylight the Confederates were quietly in position and diligently strengthening their incomplete works.
Shortly after daylight the enemy advanced upon our old works, and finding them abandoned came on with vociferous cheers. As soon as their skirmishers encountered ours in the new position, their line of battle halted and heavy skirmishing commenced. This con- tinued until about 2 P. M. , the skirmishers alternately driving each other. The brigade lost several killed and wounded and a few prisoners, but inflicted an equal or greater loss upon the enemy and captured twenty-five or thirty prisoners.
At 2 P. M. the enemy formed for assault upon the portion of the brigade between the river and the City Point road, and a little later moved forward. A regiment was pushed up along the bank of the river, under cover of the grove and buildings of the younger Hare, some two hundred and fifty yards on our left front. It came in