our army cleared the Wilderness
and was concentrated around Spottsylvania Court House, now held by Hill
in the center, Hancock
on the right, Sedgwick
on the left.
While placing his guns, and bantering some of his men, who winced at tlhe singing of Rebel bullets, Gen. Sedgwick
was struck in the face by a sharp-shooter's missile, and fell instantly dead.
He was a native and citizen of Connecticut
, a bachelor of 40, a thorough soldier, greatly beloved for his social qualities by all who knew him. Gen. Wm. H. Morris
, of New York, was severely wounded this day.
Gen. H. G. Wright
next day succeeded to the command of the 6th corps, and Gen. Burnside
came into position on our left; when our batteries opened on the enemy's position, and charges on his rifle-pits were made by Barlow
's and by Gibbon
's divisions, in front of the 2d and 5th corps, bringing on a general engagement.
We finally attempted to turn the enemy's left flank, but failed; Barlow
's division, which had advanced across the Po
, being ordered to return, was fiercely attacked on its retreat, and at one time in danger of destruction, but finally extricated with some loss, including a gun. Several charges on our part were repulsed with loss--Brig.-Gens. J. C. Rice
and T. G. Stevenson
being among our killed.
Late in the afternoon, a most gallant charge was made from our left by Wright
's 1st division, Col. Upton
, and 3d, Gen.
D. A, Russell
, who rushed over the first line of Rebel defenses and took 900 prisoners, beside several guns, which, for want of proper support, they were obliged at dark to abandon.
The day closed with no decisive success; our aggregate loss having been severe; the enemy's — because of their position — probably much less.
dispatched next morning to the War Department the following pithy but rather roseate bulletin :
This (lay was spent in reconnoitering, skirmishing, and getting ready for the morrow.
The afternoon was rainy.
, at nightfall, was ordered to leave at midnight his position fronting Hill
, and move silently to the left, taking post between Wright
, so as to be ready for work early in the morning.
When morning cane, the rain had given place to a fog of exceeding density, under cover of which, Hancock
sternly advanced, in two lines; Barlow
's and Birney
's divisions forming the first; Gibbon
's and Mott
's the second.
Before them was a salient angle of earthworks, held by Edward Johnson
's division of Ewell
Swiftly, noiselessly sweeping over the rugged, difficult, thickly wooded intervening space — some 1,200 yards-Barlow
's and Birney
's divisions dashed, with a thundering cheer, over the front and flank of the