Battle of the Wilderness. |
's (late the right), on its change of front, held the left, next the Rapidan
; A. P. Hill
coming into line on the right; while Longstreet
(recently returned from his East Tennessee
campaign) was posted near Charlottesville
, two marches off, but was rapidly brought up, and caine into action the second day. The ground was as unfavorable for us as could be; yet Grant
, being unexpectedly assailed — for he had confidently expected to get through unmolested — had no choice but to fight: neither Burnside
nor our trains being yet fairly over the river; so that any attempt to evade Lee
's unlooked — for blow would have compromised, not merely the campaign, but the army.
Hardly a shot had been fired on the first day of our movement; the Rebel
pickets retreating precipitately before our imposing advance, to speed the great news to their leaders.
, with his corps, forming our infantry advance, rested for the night at the “ Old Wilderness tavern,” five miles from the ford, where Grant
crossed and made their Headquarters next morning; Gen. Sedgwick
's corps was between them and the ford; Gen. Hancock
, with his corps, halted at or near Chancellorsville
, in the rear of Warren
Our cavalry, under Sheridan
and his lieutenants, Wilson
, covered the front and flanks of the infantry.
had orders to move, supported by Sedgwick
, early next morning,1
's store, five miles S. W. of his camping-ground; following the road leading to Orange Court House
was to press southward, at considerable distance on his left, making for Shady Grove church; while Sheridan
's cavalry swept still farther south-west, making a reconnoissance in force.
But these movements were met in their inception by an unlooked — for advance of the Rebel