and captured some trophies and prisoners.”
True; but there were three brigades of Anderson
's division of Hill
's corps that were engaged, and as conspiciously as any of Longstreet
's, and accomplished as much in proportion to their strength as was claimed to have been done by his two divisions — the right brigade of the three being in contact, or nearly so, the greater part of the time with his left.
In fact, these three brigades were the only troops that reached the Cemetery ridge
that afternoon, according to a recent article in the Philadelphia Weekly Times
, written by General Humphreys
, Chief Engineer
of the army.
Page 127. “In addition to the force Hill
had so successfully resisted the previous day” --May 5th, in the Wilderness
--“a fresh division of the Fifth corps under General Wadsworth
had secured position on his flank, and co-operated with the column assaulting in front.”
This division had gotten on Hill
's left flank late in the afternoon of the 5th and became partially engaged (see note, page 426, Swinton
). This division, and also Stephenson
's division of the Fourth corps, took part in the engagement the morning of the 6th (Swinton
, page 451). Leasure
's brigade of the Fourth corps also engaged on the 6th (note on 435, Swinton
's division, engaged on the 5th, was held in reserve after Wilcox
's division was forced back the morning of the 6th.
“After a short contest the divisions of Heth
, who had expected to have been relieved and were not prepared for the enemy's assault, were overpowered and compelled to retire just as the head of Longstreet
's column reached the ground.”
It was Wilcox
's division alone that was forced back; Heth
's division was not engaged on the Plank
road before the arrival of Longstreet
's life of General Lee
, page 390, says, of this fight early in the morning of the 6th, it “raged in this quarter with great fury for some time.”
, page 430: “And after an hour's severe contest,” &c., &c.
Reinforcement having arrived, “General Longstreet
, taking in the situation at a glance, was prompt to act; immediately caused his divisions to be deployed in line of battle, and gallantly advanced to recover the lost ground.”
This might make the impression that General Longstreet
became engaged almost instantly upon reaching the field.
As the head (Kershaw
's division) of Longstreet
's column arrived, I met it and ordered it to file to the right as rapidly as possible into the woods, so as to form line of battle speedily, less my division, then being forced back, might be