brigades should be sent.
A third brigade (Thomas
', of Wilcox
's Division) was ordered on the left of the road to take position on the left of Heth
, and fought in line nearly parallel to the road.
The enemy were in the rear of the left of Heth
did not get into position on his left.
The fourth and last brigade of Wilcox
's) went in on the right of the road and extreme right of the line, the musketry now raging furiously on the entire front.
rode forward down the road, found that McGowan
's Brigade had swept like a gale through the woods, driving back all before it, and was much in advance of our lines, both on the right and left.
It was deemed prudent to recall it to the main line.
The firing, and of the severest kind, continued till after dark, and then slackened till eight, and soon after died out. The two divisions had held their ground, and captured a few prisoners.
No artillery was used on this road by the Confederates
; two pieces, believed to have been used by the Federals
, were passed over in the road by McGowan
On the plank road Heth
's and Wilcox
's divisions, eight brigades, about thirteen thousand muskets, fought.
Of these eight brigades, four were from North Carolina
, one from South Carolina
, one from Georgia
each, one made up of Virginia
Contending against these on the Union
side were, first, Getty
's Division, Sixth Corps, soon reinforced by Birney
's and Mott
's Divisions, of the Second Corps; next, and before five P. M., Carroll
's and Owen
's Brigades, of Gibbon
's Division, Second Corps; following these were two brigades of Barlow
's Division, Second Corps; late in the afternoon Wadsworth
's Division and Baxter
's Brigade, of Robinson
's Division, Fifth Corps.
The statement made as to Federal troops engaged on the two roads, and throughout the two days collision, is taken mostly from Swinton
's “History of the army of the Potomac.”
's infantry was composed of nine divisions; one (Pickett
's) was absent below Richmond
, and not included in the estimate of forty-two thousand for the infantry.
This would give an average, therefore, of five thousand two hundred and fifty to each one of the eight divisions with General Lee
's and Heth
's were in excess of this average, the division of the former having seven thousand two hundred muskets present.
's Corps were two of the weakest divisions, Early
's and Johnson
' Division of this corps was the strongest in the army; but one brigade of this, Johnson
's, was absent in North Carolina
's Brigade, of Early
's Division, was also absent at Hanover Junction
. Three of the eight divisions of infantry were absent on the 5th-Anderson
's, of Hill
's Corps, and two of Longstreet