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Campaign of Giants--The Battle for PetersburgVolume 1: From the Crossing of the James to the Crater$
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A. Wilson Greene

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781469638577

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469638577.001.0001

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We Have Done All That It Is Possible for Men to Do and Must Be Resigned to the Result

We Have Done All That It Is Possible for Men to Do and Must Be Resigned to the Result

June 18, 1864

(p.170) Five We Have Done All That It Is Possible for Men to Do and Must Be Resigned to the Result
Campaign of Giants--The Battle for Petersburg

A. Wilson Greene

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter details the heavy fighting that occurred on June 18, 1864 near Petersburg. General Beauregard had withdrawn a second time during the night of June 17-18 and created a new defensive position styled the Harris Line, named after the engineer officer who developed it. Union commander George G. Meade attempted unsuccessfully to orchestrate a coordinated attack against the Harris Line. As during the previous two days, individual corps and divisions assaulted, leading to another series of frustrating and bloody failures. The 1st Maine Heavy Artillery suffered the largest single loss sustained by any regiment during the entire war during one of those attacks and the well-known Colonel Joshua Chamberlain sustained a serious wound during another charge. Robert E. Lee, at last aware of the presence of Grant’s entire force at Petersburg, rapidly shifted the Army of Northern Virginia to reinforce Beauregard. At the end of the day, the Union Ninth Corps came close to breaching the Confederate line, but by sunset the First Petersburg Offensive concluded with the Confederates still in possession of Petersburg.

Keywords:   Harris Line, First Maine Heavy Artillery, First Petersburg Offensive, June 18, 1864, David B. Birney, Joshua L. Chamberlain, George G. Meade, Robert E. Lee, P.G.T. Beauregard, Gouverneur K. Warren

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