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“ [59]

Union artillery massing for the advance that Ewell's attack delayed that same afternoon: Beverly house, May 18, 1864 The artillery massing in the meadow gives to this view the interest of an impending tragedy. In the foreground the officers, servants, and orderlies of the headquarters mess Camp are waiting for the command to strike their tents, pack the wagons, and move on. But at the very time this photograph was taken they should have been miles away. Grant had issued orders the day before that should have set these troops in motion. However, the Confederate General Ewell had chosen the 18th to make an attack on the right flank. It not only delayed the departure but forced a change in the intended positions of the division as they had been contemplated by the commander-in-chief. Beverly House is where General Warren pitched his headquarters after Spotsylvania, and the spectator is looking toward the battlefield that lies beyond the distant woods. After Ewell's attack, Warren again found himself on the right flank, and at this very moment the main body of the Federal army is passing in the rear of him. The costly check at Spotsylvania, with its wonderful display of fighting on both sides, had in its apparently fruitless results called for the display of all Grant's gifts as a military leader. It takes but little imagination to supply color to this photograph; it is full of it — full of the movement and detail of war also. It is springtime; blossoms have just left the trees and the whole country is green and smiling, but the earth is scarred by thousands of trampling feet and hoof-prints. Ugly ditches cross the landscape; the debris of an army marks its onsweep from one battlefield to another.

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