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[434] suppose that he had, unobserved, turned the flank of Lee's army, got between it and Richmond, and necessitated the retreat of the Confederates to some point where they might resist his further advance. So little could he comprehend the genius of Lee that he expected him to be surprised, as appears from his arrangements contemplating only combats with the rear guard covering the retreat. Lee, dauntless as he was sagacious, seized the opportunity, which the movement of his foe offered, to meet him where his artillery would be least available, where his massive columns would be most embarrassed in their movements, and where Southern individuality and self-reliance would be specially effective. Grant's object was to pass through ‘the Wilderness’ to the roads between Lee and Richmond. Lee resolved to fight him in those pathless woods, where mind might best compete with matter.

Providence held its shield over the just cause, and heroic bands hurled back the heavy battalions shattered and discomfited, as will be now briefly described.

In order to cross the Rapidan, Grant's army moved on May 3d toward Germania Ford, which was ten or twelve miles from our right. He succeeded in seizing the ford and crossing. The direct road from this ford to Richmond passed by Spotsylvania Court House, and when Grant had crossed the river he was nearer than General Lee to Richmond. From Orange Court House there are two nearly parallel roads running eastwardly to Fredericksburg. The one nearest the river is called the ‘Stone Turnpike,’ and the other the ‘Plank-road.’ The road from the ford to Spotsylvania Court House crosses the Old Stone Turnpike at the ‘Old Wilderness Tavern,’ and, two or three miles farther on it crosses the plank road.

As soon as Grant's movement was known, Lee's troops were put in motion. Ewell's corps moved on the Stone Turnpike, and Hill's corps on the plank road, into which Longstreet's force also came from his camp near Gordonsville. Ewell's corps crossed Mine Run and encamped at Locust Grove, four miles beyond, on the afternoon of the 4th. On the morning of the 5th it was again in motion, and encountered Grant's troops in heavy force at a short distance from the Old Wilderness Tavern, and Jones's and Battle's brigades were driven back in some confusion. Early's division was ordered up, formed across the pike, and moved forward. It advanced through a dense pine thicket and, with other brigades of Rodes's division, drove the enemy back with heavy loss, capturing several hundred prisoners and gaining a commanding position on the right. Meantime Johnson's division, on the left of the

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