Reasoning that Lee must have had to strip his lines to supply Gordon with the troops to mount the attack on Fort Stedman, the commanders of the Federal Second and Sixth Corps pressed their fronts and successfully overran large sections of Confederate picket lines.
According to General Humphreys of the Second Corps, "Under cover of the artillery and musketry fire of their [main] works the enemy moved out repeatedly with strong force at several points to recapture their picket intrenchments, but were always driven back." These operations cost Humphreys 690 men.
Along the lines in front of Union Forts Fisher and Welch, an officer from the Sixth Corps watched as the Third Brigade of the Second Division was given orders to advance and capture the Rebel picket line. "The brigade gallently executed the order, and, notwithstanding the Rebels brought nine pieces of artillery to bear upon it, and sent reinforcements to the point, the ground was held."
Losses to the Sixth Corps this day were about 400. Confederate casualties in these actions were 1,300.
This was the true Union victory of March 25. The Federal army now held advantageous positions that could be used to launch attacks on Lee's lines with a greater chance of success than before. The situation was summarized by a newspaper editor who wrote: "Thus, instead of shaking himself from Grant's grip, Lee had only tightened it by this bold stroke." In the words of a North Carolina soldier who had survived the operation, the Confederate attack on Fort Stedman "was only the meteor's flash that illumines for the moment and leaves the night darker than before."
Captured Confederate Battery Eight used to fire on Gordon's troops.