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NP: June 20, 1864 Philadelphia Inquirer: Richmond via Petersburg


Down to 8 o’clock Saturday morning [June 18, 1864] the City of Petersburg was still held by the Rebels, although [Eighteenth Corps commander William F. “Baldy”] SMITH had captured the very strong works to the northeast on Wednesday [June 15, 1864], followed by the capture of other parts of their lines by [Second Corps commander Winfield Scott] HANCOCK on Thursday [June 15, 1864], and still others by [Ninth Corps commander Ambrose] BURNSIDE on Friday [June 17, 1864].  From the obstinacy of the Rebel defense, and from the fact that [Ulysses S.] GRANT’S pushing forward his troops to “follow up their success,” we judge that there is still considerable work to be done at that point.

[Army of the James commander Benjamin F.] BUTLER acted very promptly in taking possession of the railroad and plank road between Petersburg and Richmond.  This not only obstructs the operations of [Robert E.] LEE and [Pierre G. T.] BEAUREGARD, but adds greatly to the freedom of GRANT’S motions.  Another opportunity for a flank movement now has open[ed] before him if he chooses to make use of it.

The march from Cold Harbor to the James River [from June 13-16, 1864] was a great achievement.  In the face of a vigilant and active enemy the whole army was moved an average distance of fifty miles, crossing two rivers, without the loss of a gun or a wagon.  At the point of transit the James River is two thousand feet wide and over eight feet deep.  We should like to know the names of the engineers, that we might do honor to their skill.  We have no doubt GODFREY WEITZEL was one.  The campaign looks well. 1

SOPO Editor’s Note: This article was transcribed by Jackie Martin.

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  1. “Richmond, Via Petersburg.” The Philadelphia Inquirer (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania), June 20, 1864, p. 4, col. 1-2
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