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[447] the army. Aside from the movements to take up position, the day was passed in quiet. The Confederate sharp-shooters were, however, very active, and early in the day their deadly aim brought down an illustrious victim in the person of General Sedgwick, the beloved chief of the Sixth Corps, who was shot while standing in the breastworks along his line, and almost instantly expired. The loss of this lion-hearted soldier caused the profoundest grief among his comrades, and throughout the army, which felt it could better have afforded to sacrifice the best division. General Wright succeeded to the command.

During the afternoon a Confederate wagon-train was observed filing along the road leading into Spottsylvania opposite Hancock's position. That officer was directed to make a movement across the Po, partly with the hope of capturing some of the train. Accordingly, towards evening of the 9th, the Second Corps forced a crossing of the stream, the south bank of which was observed by but a small force. The passage was effected with entire success, in face of many difficulties of ground; but night came on before the movement could be brought to a head. Next morning, the 10th, Hancock pushed forward the development of his operation, and, at the same time, bridged the stream at the points at which his force had crossed. The Confederate train had all been safely retired within Spottsylvania Courthouse; so that the continuance of the enterprise was without any very welldefined object. The Po, at Hancock's point of passage, runs nearly eastward; but near Spottsylvania Courthouse it turns sharply southward. It therefore once more crossed his line of advance;1 and it was observed that the enemy was in force behind intrenchments on its eastern bank, covering the approaches to Spottsylvania Courthouse. The Po is here crossed by a wooden bridge two miles west of the courthouse. But the passage was not practicable, as all

1 Hancock, after crossing the Po, struck what is called the Block House road, which crosses the Po on a covered bridge two miles west of Spottsylvania.

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