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[573] and Griffin's divisions were detached from Warren and sent to the aid of Hancock, who still held fast to the captured work, but could not go beyond it while Lee made five successive and desperate assaults on him, with intent to hurl him back ; the men fighting hand-to-hand, with their respective flags often planted on opposite sides of the same breastwork. These assaults were all repelled with frightful carnage; but Hancock was unable to advance, as lie had expected to do, and ultimately got off but 20 of the captured guns. Rain set in again at noon; but the fighting continued till near midnight, when it was terminated by Lee's desisting and leaving Hancock in possession of his hard-won prize; but that was the extent of our advantage, which had cost us several thousand men, and the enemy almost as many. Lee fortified and held a line immediately in front of Hancock ; so that the enemy's general position proved as invulnerable as ever.

Here ensued several days of maneuvering, marching and counter-marching, in quest of a weak point in the enemy's defenses; but none was found : an assault being delivered on the 18th, by Gibbon's and Barlow's divisions, supported by Birney's and Tyler's, nearly in front of the work thy had so gallantly carried on the 12th; but they were stopped by formidable abatis, and repulsed, losing heavily.

Next afternoon, observing or suspecting tllat our army was gradually moving to the left, with intent to flank and pass him, Lee threw forward Ewell against our weakened right, held by Tyler's division of foot artillerists recently drawn from the defenses of Washington, by whom he was gallantly repulsed and driven off, though not without serious loss on our side. The reckless fighting of the artillerists — mainly veterans in service, but new to the field — excited general admiration, but cost blood. The 2d and 5th corps hurrying to their aid, Ewell's men were run off and scattered in the woods, on our left, where several hundreds of them were hunted up and taken prisoners. Somewhat delayed by this sally, our army, moving by the left, resumed, next night,1 its march to Richmond.

Gen. Meade reports his losses up to this time at 39,791; to which some-thing must be added for the losses of Burnside's corps before it was formally incorporated with the Army of the Potomac. If we assume that half these fell in the Wilderness, our losses around Spottsylvania C. H. were scarcely less than 20,000 men. The Rebels, holding a ridge, generally fighting on the defensive and behind breastworks, had suffered considerably less, but still quite heavily. Among their officers killed were Gens. Daniels, Perrin, and J. M. Jones.

In the Wilderness, our army had cut loose from its original base north of the Rapidan. It had since established a new one at Fredericksburg, to which its wounded were sent, and where they were met by officers, nurses, and other employes of the Sanitary and Christian Associations, with the amplest and most thoughtful provision for the mitigation of their sufferings. As it moved down toward Richmond, new bases were establish at Port Royal and

1 May 20-21.

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