Official diary of First corps, A. N. V., while commanded by Lieutenant-General R. H. Anderson, from May 7th to 31st, 1864.
During the morning there is occasional skirmishing on our lines, which are rectified and connected.
At eleven o'clock P. M. we take up the line of march for Spotsylvania Courthouse, in a shady grove, where we rest an hour at dawn on the 8th, Kershaw
We find Fitz. Lee
hotly engaged on the Todd's Tavern
and Spottsylvania Courthouse road.
We arrive in time to relieve him but not to save the Courthouse
, which is, however, afterwards occupied by us, the enemy being driven out. Kershaw
's and Humphreys
' brigades are turned off rapidly to the left of the road, and, occupying some cover left by our cavalry, repulse the enemy with great slaughter.
's and Bryan
's brigades are sent against the Courthouse
by a detour, and finally occupy it. During the fight with the two first named brigades, Haskell
's battalion is sharply engaged and does good work.
The enemy's forces comprise the Fifth corps (Warren
's corps arrives in the afternoon, and the enemy makes another attack on our position with their Sixth corps, which is also repulsed, Rodes
' division being thrown on Kershaw
's right and relieving the attack.
arrives with Ewell
Quiet in morning.
Troops in line all day. Trenches dug. An attack by us is proposed, which is, however, deferred in expectation of one from the enemy.
In the afternoon an attack by General Johnson
is projected, to be assisted by the advance of our skirmishers.
For some reason Johnson
does not attack.
enemy feels Field
's skirmishers strongly late in the afternoon.
At. night Mahone
's division is sent to the left of Field
to hold the Shady Grove
Reports current of the enemy having gained our rear towards Beaver Dam
Sharp skirmishing on the whole line during the morning and heavy shelling.
, one of our couriers, killed at 10 A. M. The enemy begins a series of attacks on Field
's position; they continue at times during the entire day; all of them repulsed until 7 P. M., when the last and most desperate is made against Anderson
Some of the enemy succeed in gaining the works, but are killed in them.
The attack is repulsed with great slaughter to the enemy and little loss to us. At the same hour (7 P. M.) an attack is made on Ewell
's lines, and succeeds in breaking through Doles
The enemy is driven back, however, leaving many dead near the works.
Late in the night, at 10 and 4 o'clock, renewed attacks (feeble ones) are made on Field
Day opened with confident expectation of a renewal of the attacks of the enemy.
Early reports four lines forming to attack our position.
The day passes, however, without an attack in force, but with the usual skirmishing.
Towards evening indications are apparent of the intended withdrawal of the enemy, and preparations are made to move after him.
At 4 1/4 A. M. the enemy makes, with an overwhelming force, a sudden dash on J. M. Jones
' brigade and breaks through Johnson
's division, which is thrown back in great confusion.
At the same time the artillery of that line, which had been withdrawn the night previous, just coming up to go into position, is captured, the horses killed and the cannoniers taken prisoners.
Guns not taken off. Gordon
, with Early
's division, attacks the enemy to recover our position.
's division (except Wright
's brigade), which is left at the bridge on the left, is drawn to the right to drive back the enemy.
A violent battle ensues, lasting without intermission until 12 M., in which the whole of the Second corps and part of the Third are engaged.
It terminates on that part of the line by the enemy being driven from the ground they had gained, with the exception of a small part.
During the action Wofford
is sent to the support of Rodes
Between 9 and 10 o'clock A. M. Field sustains two violent assaults on a part of his line, which are again easily repulsed with great loss to the enemy.
In the afternoon Jenkins
are sent to report to General
At night a part of Ewell
's line is thrown back to a new position, leaving, however, eighteen guns in the hands of the enemy.
In line before the enemy.
Slight skirmishing and cannonading.
returned by Ewell
Report of General Stuart
's death received.
Enemy beginning to disappear in front of Field
Towards the afternoon Kershaw
's skirmishers occupy the enemy's breastworks, which had been abandoned.
At night Field
is ordered to withdraw to the vicinity of the church near Spotsylvania Courthouse.
is to push forward his skirmishers, but the night is so dark as not to permit it.
Quiet. Thirteen caissons recovered from the enemy, who has retired from our immediate front.
At 10 P. M. we receive orders to move to Early
The troops marched at 12 and 1 and we with them.
As soon as day dawns they are got into position — Field
on the line, Kershaw
No enemy in our immediate front.
Headquarters established near a small house in rear of Crutchfield
No change to-day.
At 4.45 A. M. the enemy makes an attack on Ewell
with a furious cannonade.
The attack is easily repulsed.
All quiet on our line.
Quiet on our part of the line.
Towards evening Ewell
undertakes a movement against the enemy's right — accomplishing, however, little save some information of the enemy's position.
is sent to occupy his trenches during his absence.
returns on the morning of the 20th.
's front reported to be uncovered.
moves to our right and takes position along the Po. During
the day the enemy is ascertained to be retiring from A. P. Hill
We prepare to move.
Move in the afternoon by Dickerson
's to the Mud Tavern
, and thence down the Telegraph
preceding us. Hill
takes a western road.
The supply trains and heavy baggage wagons moving via New Market
and Island Ford
We march all night, halting on the Telegraph
road at 3 A. M. on the 22d.
After two hours rest the march is resumed.
The head of our column reaches the Northanna
at 12.15 P. M., May 22d.
's and Kemper
's brigades, Pickett
's division, join us. Barton
's column temporarily.
Troops are put in bivouac on the south side of Northanna.
Enemy reported advancing down Telegraph road.
Our line is formed.
The guard on the north side of the river is driven across.
In the afternoon we sustain a severe cannonade, and have a chimney knocked over our party.
At night the line is somewhat retired.
reports to Hill
Day occupied in examining and improving the line.
posted on our right, and at night Early
sent to his right.
During the night the line is straightened by cutting off the angle near Law
Enemy strong in our front, and manifesting a disposition to extend to our right.
Skirmishing in front.
In the afternoon the enemy advances skirmishers on Law
's and Ramseur
's brigades, and is driven back.
's and Bryan
's skirmishers are also pressed.
Early this morning the enemy is ascertained to have left our front and moved back across the river.
The trains are at once sent back across Southanna by Ellet
The troops march by the Fredericksburg railroad.
's division moves with Hill
and joins us at night.
We move by Ashland
and camp between the Half Sink
Move early for Atlee
's station, or rather ordered to move early, but we are greatly impeded by the Second, which is on the same road and is ordered to move at the same hour.
Order of march: Field
We go into bivouac between Hundley
's Corner and Walnut Grove church.
In the afternoon the enemy is reported advancing, and the troops are put under arms.
Field is. partly moved out, but returns and sends two regiments to fill with skirmishers the interval between Early
's corps and Breckinridge
Early extends to the right, and attacks the enemy's left with Pegram
starts to support the movement by going through the breastworks, but soon abandons it and is put on Early
Field on his left and Kershaw
on the left of the corps.
is taken out of line, and about 3 P. M. is sent to relieve the right of Early
, the whole of whose corps is finally relieved by us, he taking our entrenchments.
moves down towards Gaines' mill
in the endeavor to connect with Hoke
takes the right of Early
's old line, and Field
is put on his left.
Hoke on extreme right.