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 pike and extending across the road to Germania Ford, was heavily engaged in front, and Hays's brigade was sent to his left to participate in a forward movement. It advanced, encountered a large force, and, not meeting with the expected cooperation, was drawn back. Subsequently Pegram's brigade took position on Hays's left, and just before night an attack was made on their front, which was repulsed with severe loss to the enemy. During the afternoon there was hot skirmishing along the whole line, and several attempts were made by the foe to regain the position from which he had been driven. At the close of the day Ewell's corps had captured over a thousand prisoners, besides inflicting on the enemy very severe losses in killed and wounded. Two pieces of artillery had been abandoned and were secured by our troops. A. P. Hill, on the 4th, with Heth's and Wilcox's divisions of his corps, moved eastwardly along the plank road. They bivouacked at night near Verdiersville, and resumed their march on the 5th with Heth in advance. About 1 P. M. musketry firing was heard in front; the sound indicated the presence of a large body of infantry. Kirkland's brigade deployed on both sides of the plank road, and the column proceeded to form in line of battle on its flanks. Hill's advance had followed the plank road, while Ewell's pursued the Stone turnpike. These parallel movements were at this time from three to four miles apart. The country intervening and round about for several miles is known as the ‘Wilderness,’ and, having very little open ground, consists almost wholly of a forest of dense undergrowth of shrubs and small trees. In order to open communication with Ewell, Wilcox's division moved to the left and effected a junction with Gordon's brigade on Ewell's extreme right. The line of battle thus completed extended from the right of the plank road through a succession of open fields and dense forest to the left of the Stone turnpike. It presented a line of six miles, and the thicket that lay along the whole front of our army was so impenetrable as to exclude the use of artillery save only at the roads. Heth's skirmishers were driven in about 3 P. M. by a massive column that advanced, firing rapidly. The struggle thus commenced in Hill's front continued for two or three hours unabated. Heth's ranks were greatly reduced when Wilcox was ordered to his support, but the bloody contest continued until night closed over our force in the position it had originally taken. This stubborn and heroic resistance was made by the divisions of Heth and Wilcox of Hill's corps, fifteen thousand strong, against the repeated and desperate assaults of five divisions—four divisions of Hancock's and one of Sedgewick's corps, numbering about
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