previous next

[16] the eve of his departure that he made to the paymaster from whom he had always drawn his pay the remarkable declaration, that he desired to have his accounts with government kept by one and the same officer, because it was his purpose, at the close of the war, to call for an accurate statement of all the money he should have received, and then to give it, whatever might be the amount, to some permanent institution founded for the relief of invalid soldiers. ‘This is the least invidious way,’ said he, ‘in which I can refuse pay for fighting for my country in her hour of danger.’

When General Grant finally began his campaign, Wadsworth was placed in command of the Fourth Divison of the Fifth Corps, which was composed of his old division of the First Corps, with the addition of the Third Brigade. He crossed the Rapidan on Wednesday, the 4th of May. On the 5th and 6th the battle of the Wilderness was fought. It was here that the event occurred which his friends, knowing his impetuous valor, had feared from the first. Wadsworth was mortally wounded. This heroic termination of a noble career, and its attendant circumstances, are described in simple and touching language by his son, Captain Craig Wadsworth, in a letter which is published in Mr. Allen's Memorial. Captain Wadsworth was attached to the cavalry division, which was guarding the wagon-train; but, by permission of his commanding officer, he went to the front, and remained with his father for two or three hours on the morning of the memorable 6th, and while the fight was going on. There is also an interesting description of it by a Confederate officer, which has been communicated to the family, but never yet published.

It seems from these accounts that General Wadsworth's command had been engaged for several hours on the evening of the 5th, and had lost heavily. Early the next morning General Hancock ordered it again into action on the right of the Second Corps. The enemy's division opposed to it was at first Heth's and afterwards Anderson's, which were strongly posted in thick woods, and supported by artillery placed in a small open field about two hundred yards in the rear. The ground declined gently from this field to Heth's position.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Craig Wadsworth (3)
James Wadsworth (2)
Heth (2)
Hancock (1)
Grant (1)
Finley Anderson (1)
Lewis F. Allen (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
5th (2)
May 4th (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: