manner surrounding it, extend our lines. A little stream called Camp Creek flows through a narrow valley with precipitous bluffs on each side. For more than a mile our lines extend on one side of this valley, and the rebel lines on the other. The opposing armies shoot at each other across this valley! A country abounding in steep hills thickly wooded, with almost impassable ravines, and with here and there a cleared patch of ground, makes up the remainder of this great theatre of warfare where two mighty armes were about to enact another tragedy. The rebel army was divided into three great corps: Hardee's on the right, Hood in the centre, and Polk on the left. All the reinforcements brought up from Mobile, Savannah, and other parts, were distributed among these three. About one o'clock it was determined to attack the enemy's lines, partly for the purpose of directing his attention from the left of the Fifteenth corps, where, as I have said, he had commenced a fierce fire, but mainly to test his strength and determination, and if possible to drive him from his works upon this part of the field. The attack was commenced by Schofield, who, with Newton, advanced gradually up to the enemy's work, Wood and Stanley pressing closely the extreme rebel right. Further to our right, Carlin's and King's brigades of Johnson's division assailed the enemy's lines in front of them with great vigor and determination. Never was field more stubbornly contested. Officers vied with the men in acts of daring. Judah's division, of Schofield's corps, blazed like a volcano all round a low hill upon which were the rebel works they designed to storm. But every instant their ranks were thinned by showers of bullets and grapeshot hurled among them by the rebels, who fought with comparative security inside their rifle-pits. Our line wavered. Turchin's brigade of Baird's division was ordered to the rescue. As a portion of Johnson's men had done, they hurled themselves down the almost perpendicular bluffs of which I have spoken; waded through Camp Creek, waist deep at the foot; and attempted to charge across the valley under a most murderous fire. The charge was unsuccessful — the bulk of the brigade withdrew; but a couple of regiments crossed the valley, and taking shelter under the very bluffs upon which the enemy's works were constructed, lay there in comparative security until the friendly night came on, when they quietly withdrew. Colonel John G. Mitchell's brigade, of Davis' division, was now sent to the assistance of Turchin. It came gallantly into the fight, as does any body of troops with Colonel Mitchell for a leader. But the relentless storm from the enemy's works fell upon it also; the Colonel himself narrowly escaped death, a shell exploding at the feet of his horse, a huge fragment knocking to flinders the field glass which hung at his side, and which alone saved his life. The order was finally given for the whole line to withdraw, which it did in good order. The enemy had been driven from a portion of his outer line of works, and although we did not occupy them at that time, the fire of our artillery was so effective that the rebels never reoccupied them. Joe Johnston now determined to assume the offensive in earnest, and began massing his troops upon his right, with the design of turning our left. The movement would probably have been successful had it not been discovered in time and prevented. To Lieutenant W. L. Shaw, of General Elliott's staff, the honor of the discovery belongs. From a hill upon the right of our lines his keen eye detected the rebel columns moving towards our left. Hooker was instantly despatched to breast the coming storm, but before he could arrive it burst upon a portion of our line. Cruft's brigade of Stanley's division occupied an advanced position to the east of the Tilton and Resacca road, which Stanley had been ordered to hold. Upon this brigade the rebels fell in immense numbers, and after a gallant resistance it was broken and pushed back. As it emerged from the woods near the road, and came across some open fields west of the same, the enemy pressed after it with terrific yells. It seemed as if the left was really about to be turned, but Simonson's old battery, the Fifth Indiana, was posted at the western edge of the field, and as the rebels advanced, it poured into them so destructive a fire of grape and canister, that notwithstanding they rushed with determined bravery to within one hundred feet of the battery, they were finally driven back in great disorder. A brigade of Hooker's men, which had arrived at the nick of time, contributed greatly to this result, and manfully supported the battery. Just as the battle ended upon the left a terrible conflict broke out upon the right. During the afternoon portions of Logan's corps, and Sprague's brigade of the Sixteenth corps, had dislodged the enemy from a line of works almost exactly in front of the town. Just after dark the rebels made a desperate effort to regain them. With long lines of infantry, whose fixed bayonets glittered in the moonlight, they charged up the hill upon which the works were situated, and forced their way to the very foot of the bulwarks. But a deadly fire from the Union lines mowed them down, until at last they gave up the fruitless contest and fled with precipitation and terror down the heights. It was nearly ten o'clock before the storm of battle ceased to rage. Early on Sunday morning the skirmishing recommenced, but it was not until about half-past 1 that anything of importance took place. It should be observed here, that in order to fill up the gap occasioned by Hooker's withdrawal the day before, the whole of Palmer's corps was shifted to the right, or rather was expanded so as to cover twice as much ground as it did the day before.
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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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