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General Lee's line was now thoroughly established, and the ground lost in the early morning had been completely recovered. The forces as they arrived on the field had been handled with consummate skill, and right nobly had they responded to the demands upon them. Language can hardly do justice to their conduct. They had arrived in the midst of confusion and apparent disaster. Their lines had been formed under fire, and in the very presence of the enemy moving forward in dense array and perfect order. Such had been the urgency of the crisis that single brigades, and sometimes regiments, as their formation was completed in succession, assailed the foe with almost resistless fury. And now, within less than two hours from the time that the head of their column had reached the field, two small divisions, numbering in all nine thousand men, had met and rolled back in confusion eight full divisions of the enemy, constituting one-half of General Grant's vast army!1 I do not think a parallel can be found in the history of modern warfare.

It was now nearly nine o'clock in the morning. The great struggle was still to come. The Federal lines were some distance in front of the Brock road, the most direct route to Spotsylvania Courthouse and to Richmond. They had even taken the precaution to construct upon it a triple line of fortifications. Situated as the armies were, it was the obvious policy of each commander to double back the wing of the opposing force. The success of General Grant would have opened an unobstructed road to Richmond, and might have been decisive of the campaign. That of General Lee might have ended as did the battle of Chancellorsville a year before. It would at least have interposed his army between General Grant and his objective point. The arrival of Longstreet's corps and Anderson's division defeated the plan of Grant, and threw him on the defensive. The effort of General Lee was still to come. The plan of attack was made known by officers of the staff to the brigade commanders on the left. It was to throw a force upon the flank and rear of Hancock, and at the same time advance our right and assail his front, so as to roll up and press back his entire left wing towards Fredericksburg. Instructions were also given that the left brigades conform their movements to those of the troops on their right, holding back, however, so as to constitute a sort of movable pivot upon which the whole line might wheel. It is evident that the successful execution of such a movement

1 His own corps of four divisions, two divisions of Burnside's corps, and two of Warren's

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