‘At 12 M. of the 20th the division was moved to the rear of the Fourteenth Corps, and two regiments were deployed and connected with the First Division of the Fifteenth Corps on the right and the Fourteenth Corps on the left, engaged the enemy on their lines.’ * * * *
The extent to which the left wing was stretched out on the road is shown by a paragraph in General Slocum
‘On the following morning (20th) Generals Baird and Geary, each with two brigades of their respective divisions, and General Hazen, of the Fifteenth Corps, with his entire division, arrived on the field.’
The first-named generals belonged to the left wing and Hazen
to the right.
As to the arrival of the left wing in force General Slocum
‘On the morning of the 21st the right wing came up and connected with General Hazen.’
The battle began about ten o'clock on the 19th. One division of the right wing, by a long night march, came up the next morning, but the main body of that wing was not ready to strike the enemy until the morning of the 21st.
The situation of affairs around Bentonville
, then, was about this: With a full knowledge that Johnston
was rapidly concentrating all available forces in his front, the two wings of the Union
army, each inferior to Johnston
's supposed numbers, were allowed to march in extremely open order, and so far apart that, when an attack in force began on the left wing at ten o'clock on the 19th, it was not until noon of the next day that part of the other wing came within striking distance, and even then it was not able to communicate directly with the left wing because the enemy was interposed in force.
The total strength of the left wing was less than twenty-six thousand, and only a portion of this could be brought up for the first day's fight.
's force was then estimated at thirty-seven thousand, though he afterward stated that he had only fourteen thousand infantry engaged.
The Union officers and men fought splendidly, and thus