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[516] was permitted, at his own request, to move upon the rear of the Federal left wing. He got possession of their camps, destroyed and brought off a good deal of material, and created great consternation among the teamsters and quartermasters. About twilight Brig.-Gen. Gordon, of Ewell's corps, attacked the enemy's left, captured Gen. Seymour and a large portion of his brigade, and excited a panic which put Grant's whole army on the verge of irretrievable rout. Brigade after brigade fled from the Federal works, and, attempting, one after another, to wheel around into line in order to check the advance, was borne back under the rapidity of Gordon's movement. The woods in front were alive with masses of men, struggling to escape with life. Gordon swept all before him for a distance of two miles. But the forest through which he advanced was so dense with undergrowth, that by the nightfall he had become separated from his supports. He paused before he had completed a movement that came near completely routing tie entire Federal right. The enterprise, notwithstanding its incompleteness, was crowned with brilliant success. The Confederate loss in that service numbered, in killed and wounded, but twenty-seven, while on the enemy's side Gens. Shaler and Seymour, with the greater part of their commands, were taken prisoners, and the entire Sixth corps of the Army of the Potomac had been broken up in panic.

In these two days of terrible battle in the Wilderness the Confederate wounded, by the official reports of the surgeons, were estimated at six thousand, and their killed at less than one thousand. The wounds were comparatively slight, owing to the protection afforded by the trees and the absence of artillery, which could not be used in consequence of the dense and almost unbroken forest. The loss of the enemy was out of all proportion to what it had inflicted: 269 officers and 3,019 men killed; 1,017 officers and 18,261 men wounded, and 177 officers and 6,667 men missing-making an aggregate of 27,310.

On the 7th May, both armies moved their position-Grant's to take an interiour road towards Richmond by the Spottsylvania Court-house, and Lee's, back, apparently, towards Orange Court-house, but in reality to reach Spottsylvania before the enemy. The advance of Lee arrived first and took up a good position, the main army quickly following. The situation which the Northern newspapers interpreted as “the retreat of Lee” bore in every respect the evidences of his generalship and success. He had succeeded in throwing his entire army right across the path by which Grant must march if he would get “on to Richmond.” --He had not only repulsed all his assaults at the Wilderness, but held him there until he could throw his own army in front of him. It was a masterly performance, and made it necessary for Grant to deliver battle there or make another effort to turn the Confederate position.

To this movement there was an episode, which is chiefly remarkable

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