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Deep Bottom

division, creek, confederate, brigade, miles, cavalry, road, corps and james

DEEP BOTTOM, Va., Battles at. 1. On 25 July 1864, General Grant, then besieging Petersburg, ordered a movement, the principal object of which was to threaten Richmond and draw as many of Lee's troops as possible from the lines in front of Petersburg, so as to give promise of success in assaulting them, upon the springing of a mine prepared by General Burnside. Deep Bottom is opposite a great bend of James River, making a neck of land known as Jones' Neck, at a point where Bailey's Creek flows into the James from the north. Butler's pontoon bridges, one below and one above the mouth of the creek, were held by General R. S. Foster with a brigade of the Tenth corps. The Confederates were entrenched on the west side of the mouth of the creek in Foster's front. About 2 A. M. of the 27th, Hancock began crossing the James by the lower bridge, to turn the Confederate left, while Foster attacked the right. At day light all moved forward. Gen. Nelson A. Miles' brigade drove the Confederates from their position on the New Market road, east of the creek, and captured a battery of heavy guns, but progress across the creek was barred. From the river to Fussell's Mill, a distance of about two miles, its west bank was held by Kershaw's and Wilcox's divisions, O joined dur ing the day by Heth's division. n the morn ing of the 28.th, Kershaw advanced on the Charles City road and drove Sheridan back over a ridge upon which he was posted; but Sheri dan, dismounting his men, drove Kershaw back in some confusion, taking 200 prisoners and two colors. Reinforcements arrived until five eighths of Lee's army was now north of the James. Grant wanted no assault made, and on the 29th Hancock and Sheridan recrossed the James. The Union loss in this movement was 334 killed and wounded.

2. General Grant, on 12 August, ordered another movement on the north side of the James to threaten Richmond. Hancock's Second corps, part of the Tenth corps, under General Birney, and General Gregg's division of cavalry, were designated for the purpose. Birney's command was at and near Deep Bot tom; the cavalry and artillery went by land, as in July; and Hancock's corps marched to City Point and took steamers for Deep Bottom, 16 miles up the river, where it was landed on the morning of 14 August. Mott's division was to advance on the New Market road and drive the Confederates into their works beyond Bailey's Creek, while Barlow, with his own division and Gibbons', was to move on Mott's right, and assault the line near Fussell's Mill. Gregg's cavalry was to cover Barlow's right, and when the infantry uncovered the Charles City and Darby roads, was to make a dash on Richmond, if opportunity offered, and if not, to destroy the railroads entering it. Bir ney was to attack the Confederate right, and, if successful, move up the river roads on Chaffin's Bluff. Field's Confederate division

held Bailey's Creek and Wilcox's division was at C'haffin's Bluff. At the first intiniatio'ri of Hancock's movement Wilcox moved up and joined Field, and from the south side of the lames, General Lee sent Mahone's division of infantry and the two cavalry divisions of Wade Hampton and W. H. F. Lee. Johnson's and Gary's brigades followed, and there were three regiments from Pickett's division. Mott ad vanced on the New Market road, but was checked at the creek It was 4 o'clock before Barlow, on his right, could get up one, brigade, and with this he assmdted the position near Fussell's, was repulsed, and rested the night. On the right Gregg had advanced well up the Charles City road, and on the left Birney seized a part of the Confederate line and captured three guns. On the morning of the 15th Birney's corps and a brigade of Mott's division endeavored to turn the Confederate left. Birney moved toward the Charles City road, on which Gregg was advancing, but he made so wide a detour and found so many obstructions, that it was night when he found his proper position, and attack was deferred until morning. As a diversion to his attack Gregg's cavalry, supported by Miles' brigade of infantry, were to move up the Charles City road. Gregg was off at an early hour of the 16th, driving the Confederate cavalry beyond Deep Creek, as far as White's Tavern, only seven miles from Richmond. At 10 Terry's division of Birney's corps, supported"by Craig's brigade of Mott's division, and /limey's brigade of colored troops, advanced-against the Confederate line near.Fussell's Mill, and, after a severe fight, carried it, taking three colors and between 200 and 300 prisoners front Ma hone's and Wilcox's divisions; but the Confed erates soon rallied, retook their works and drove Terry back. Soon after noon the Confederate cavalry, supported by infantry, advanced on Gregg and Miles, slowly driving them backto i Deep Creek, and later in the day across it. There was a cessation of hostilities on the 17th. On the 18th the Confederates advanced from their works above Fussell's Mill and at tacked Birney, who, with the assistance of Miles, repulsed them. On the night of the 20th the Union troops were withdrawn and returned to their positions in •front of Peters burg and at Bermuda HUndred. In this battle the Union troops numbered about 28,000, the Confederates about 20,000. The Union loss was 2,161 killed and wounded, and 625 missing. There are no returns of Confederate losses. Consult. 'Official Records) (Vol. XLII) ; Humphreys, Campaign of 1864-65); Grant,