left, as if to turn Logan's right. Scarcely had they passed the point where they were visible to us, when a larger force returned at the same rate. Then came volleys along Logan's front, from right to left. A wonderful animation was suddenly infused into the apparently dead mass of wagons and artillery that lay all day in the great open field behind the Fifteenth Corps. A storm was gathering — where should it break? The question was not long unanswered. Minor attempts were made along almost the whole of Logan's line, but in front of General Sweeny's division was the main force. Bates' division of Hardee's corpse was hurled against Sweeny's division, which at that time presented a front of two regiments and one portion of a battery. The immortal Second Iowa, and the younger, but not less gallant Sixty-sixth Indiana, with two sections of Welker's Battery, (H, First Missouri Light Artillery,) met the shock of the charge. Fierce and hot was the contest — brave men were pitted against brave — but it was impossible to advance before the withering fire of that portion of Colonel Rice's brigade. In half an hour from the first volley, the shout of victory rang on the evening air, and was taken up by regiment after regiment, until the woods rang again. A few prisoners were captured, from whom it was ascertained that the rebel Second Kentucky Regiment was engaged. One of that regiment, Badger, of Columbus, Kentucky, who was captured, has friends in Cincinnati. Another from Covington, Kentucky, named Jones, belonging to the same regiment, was also captured. The loss of the Sixty-sixth and Second Iowa, was very slight. The next day the Sixty-sixth Indiana found sixty-three dead rebels in their front. On the twenty-ninth Colonel Mersey's brigade relieved Colonel Rice's, and still the skirmishing continued. Company B, of the Eighty-first Ohio, was deployed as skirmishers, and Private James Anderson, of Company D, volunteered to go also. Very soon he was borne back mortally wounded. All day the heavy skirmishing was kept up. The lines were so close that rebel balls reached even beyond the headquarters of Generals Sweeny and Dodge. No general attack was made, however. It was after eleven o'clock at night, of the twenty-ninth, when as some of us were listening to the dull, heavy booming of Hooker's guns to the left, a bright flash of a musket to the right, and in front of our line, told of approaching danger. Almost instantly the whole picket line in front of Mersey's brigade was ablaze, and retiring before our advancing column. Scarcely had the pickets reached the works, until every man of the long, sinuous line, which a moment before seemed wrapped in slumber, was up to his place, and the next moment the Eighty-first Ohio and Twelfth Illinois poured a volley of death into the approaching column. A flash and a whiz was the reply, but now loading and firing as rapidly as possible, while Welker poured an almost ceaseless fire from his four guns, the scene became grand beyond description. Never before have I witnessed such a scene of terrible grandeur The night was dark, and a heavy air seemed to weigh down the sulphurous smoke until the darkness was changed to gray, in which the dark figures of the men became visible — a sort of demon-looking set, engaged in a ghastly play with death. But it could not last long. The earthworks, together with the wild aiming of the rebels, gave us complete protection, while they were without any shield. Soon they renewed the attack at another place, then on Mersey again, and again to the right, until at three o'clock, when they recoiled from their last attack, they had made seven attempts to break our lines I The occasion of this desperation, it is thought, was that they had detected a movement commenced in the morning by the Fifteenth Corps toward our left, and thought to break through our lines while moving. The movement had commenced, and if they had waited a few hours later, their attack might have resulted in a different manner. Our loss was comparatively nothing, and was confined almost exclusively to the men deployed as skirmishers in front of the works. Lieutenant Ulrick, of the Sixty-sixth Illinois, was mortally wounded. Lieutenant Williamson, same regiment, was wounded. Hardly had the first half hour's fighting ended, until General Dodge made his appearance at Welker's battery, carrying before him on his horse a box of canister I He had heard that their canister was gone, and unable to find the proper officer in such a melee, he went himself and carried all he could. He also seized two wagon loads of infantry ammunition from the Fifteenth Corps, which were passing, and sent boxes up to the front line, so that although at the beginning there was but forty rounds to the man, these were not gone until a beautiful supply was at hand. The eager Sixty-sixth Indiana, who had built those works, and repulsed the attack there on the twenty-eighth could not be held in reserve. When Colonel Adams sent word that his ammunition was nearly gone, Colonel Rice ordered out the Sixty-sixth to relieve the Eighty-first. With a cheer they responded, and were soon in readiness. But here arose a question; the ammunition was now abundant, and the Eighty-first Ohio did not want to be relieved I General Dodge upon application allowed the Eighty-first to retain its position, and the gallant boys of the Sixty-sixth Indiana retired disappointed. The loss of the enemy could not be ascertained; the intervening ground being contraband. A deserter who came in to-day, says that Bates' division was terribly cut up in that night attack, which, he says, was made under a misunderstanding of orders. For some reason, it was determined to change the position of McPherson and Davis' divisions of the Fourteenth Corps. The orders were issued for this on the twenty-eighth, but were countermanded by the attack made by the enemy. On the twenty-ninth, the movement
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Table of Contents:
Doc . 16 . operations in Tennessee .
Doc . 19 . the siege of Suffolk, Virginia .
Doc . 36 . General Rousseau 's expedition.
Doc . 59 . battles of Spottsylvania , Va: battle of Sunday , May 8 , 1864 .
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