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Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 31.djvu/27

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Gordon's Assault on fort 8tedm<u. 19

And observing minds have noted coincidences during and since that hateful war, indicating retribution following dark deeds done.

Majors Harry Gilmor and T. Sturgis Davis were Baltimore county men, and Colonel B. L. Simpson whom Gilmor defeated and chased was from Baltimore city. Many Marylanders, too, were under Gilmor and Davis, and were scattered through General Imbo- den's command.

[From the New Orleans Picayune,- October 25, 1903.]

GORDON'S ASSAULT ON FORT STEDMAN,

March 25th, 1865 A Brilliant Achievement.

By General JAMES A. WALKER.

Fort Stedman was a Federal redoubt, and occupied a spot near what was once the residence of Mr. Otway P. Hare, a man widely known in Eastern Virginia in antebellum days. Its site was locally known as " Hare's Hill."

I was then in command of a division in the corps commanded by General John B. Gordon, of Georgia, and my division occupied that portion of the trenches around Petersburg from the Appomat- tox river on the left, and extended, on the right, to a point beyond Hare's Hill.

The enemy's lines in our front extended to the Appomattox river, thence down the river on its south bank, crossing the stream several miles lower down, and stretching out to and across the James river; thus leaving the Richmond and Petersburg railroad in possession of the Confederates.

The hostile lines were very near each other at several points, but at no other place so close together as at Hare's Hill or Fort Sted- man, where they were only seventy-five yards apart.

The Confederate entrenchments on that part of the field consisted of a single line of breastworks.

Their location was not altogether the result of engineering skill, or of military choice, but was in part fixed by the accidental position of the Confederate troops, where the advance of the Federals was checked in the summer of 1864 at the time they came so near cap- turing Petersburg.