Federal attack; Gordon
, by a dashing charge, capturing several hundred prisoners and relieving Doles
, who though hard pressed had held his ground.
On the 6th of May it was upon the suggestion of Gordon
that the attack was made upon the Federal
right, and his brigade, supported by Johnston
's North Carolinians and Hays
' Louisianians, charged with such vehemence as to take a mile of the Federal
works, and capture 600 prisoners, including Generals Seymour
. General Ewell
in his report says that General Gordon
sent word to him by General Early
at 9 o'clock that morning, urging this very attack.
Early did not think it safe, and Ewell
did not order it until he had examined the ground himself.
As soon as he had examined the ground, he ordered Gordon
to make the attack; but it was then nearly sunset.
If it had been made in the morning, much more decisive results would have followed.
On the same day this marvelous army, under the immortal Lee
, was not only pounding the enemy, over twice its number, on the front and right flank, but Longstreet
, coming up, sent Anderson
's and Wofford
's Georgians with Mahone
's Virginians to attack his left flank and rear, while Benning
fought in front.
The movement was a complete success, and the Federal
line was routed with heavy loss.
It seemed at this moment that the defeat of Grant
's army was within the grasp of the Confederates
, but as Longstreet
was preparing to follow up his success, he fell wounded from the fire of some of his own men in the flanking column, and in the respite thus gained the Federal
officers were enabled to secure their line.
On the 8th, Wofford
's and Bryan
's brigades fought their way to Spottsylvania Court House and occupied it. Gordon
, temporarily in command of Early
's division, after a distressing march through dust and smoke, reached there in the evening.
On the intrenched line Doles
occupied one of the salients, and suffered severely