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[537] before Lee had time to fortify. But it was 1 P. M. before the whole of the 6th corps was up, and it was 6 P. M. before Smith's command was in position.

In the 6th corps, each brigade was formed in column of regiments, with the brigade on the extreme left refused. The 18th corps was formed in columns of brigades, with the extreme right refused. So the columns of the 18th were three ranks deep, and those of the 6th averaged four. The Confederate formation was but a single rank behind their breastwork, which, as has been described, was the work of but a few hours, almost without intrenching tools. There was also in it a gap of something over 50 yards, where a wooded and tangled ravine and small stream separated Hoke's and Kershaw's divisions.

A rough sketch will illustrate: —

Map for the battle of Wilderness.

The distance between the lines was about 1400 yards, and our pickets were about 300 yards in our front. About 6 P. M., we had ceased to expect an attack that evening, when a sudden increase of fire on the picket line and the opening of artillery stopped our digging and called all to arms. Soon a perfect tornado of fire broke out in front of Hoke and Kershaw, and extended, but not heavily, to Pickett's front. It soon appeared that at all points but one the enemy's advance had been checked by our fire, without its reaching our line of battle. This was at the 50-yard gap which had been carelessly left between Hoke and

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N. C. Hoke (3)
S. C. Kershaw (2)
W. F. Smith (1)
Pickett (1)
W. H. F. Lee (1)
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