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[108] May, in connection with the Texas brigade (often, as you say, confounded with the incidents of May 12th, related above), I was also an eye-witness; and I believe that few battle incidents recorded in history rise in grandeur above those two occasions when General Lee went into the charge with the Texans at the Wilderness and when he led the Mississippians into battle at Spotsylvania.

I am, General, very truly, your friend,


It may be well to add that there is really no conflict in the several accounts we have published. The incident certainly occurred, under somewhat similar circumstances, upon three occasions, viz: In the Wilderness on the 6th of May with the Texas brigade; at Spotsylvania Courthouse on the 12th of May with Gordon's division; and on the same morning with Harris' Mississippi brigade.

As completing his account of the three incidents, we quote Colonel Venable's description of the scene in the Wilderness, and with Gordon's division, as given in his address before the Virginia Division, Army of Northern Virginia Association:

The scene in the Wilderness.

General Lee soon sent a message to Longstreet to make a night march and bring up his two divisions at daybreak on the 6th. He himself slept on the field, taking his headquarters a few hundred yards from the line of battle of the day. It was his intention to relieve Hill's two divisions with Longstreet's, and throw them farther to the left, to fill up a part of the great unoccupied interval between the Plank road and Ewell's right, near the Old turnpike, or use them on his right, as the occasion might demand. It was unfortunate that any of these troops should have become aware they were to be relieved by Longstreet. It is certain that owing to this impression, Wilcox's division, on the right, was not in condition to receive Hancock's attack at early dawn on the morning of the 6th, by which they were driven back in considerable confusion. In fact some of the brigades of Wilcox's division came back in disorder, but sullenly and without panic, entirely across the Plank road, where General Lee and the gallant Hill in person helped to rally them. The assertion, made by several writers, that Hill's troops were driven back a mile and a half, is a most serious mistake. The right of his line was thrown back several hundred yards, but a portion of the troops still maintained their position. The danger, however, was great, and General Lee sent his trusted Adjutant, Colonel W. H. Taylor, back to Parker's store, to get the trains ready for a movement to the rear. He sent an aid also to hasten the march of Longstreet's divisions. These came the last mile and a half at a double-quick, in parallel columns, along the


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