previous next

[233] troops as he chose. They poured through our lines in immense numbers, taking possession to the right and left of the salient, and keeping up a constant fire of artillery and musketry for 24 hours.1 General Gordon was heavily engaged, one brigade broken and its commander, General R. D. Johnston, wounded; but he held his ground, drove out the enemy in his immediate front by a strong effort, and regained a portion of our works to the right of the salient. Their main effort was evidently against Rodes's position to the left of the angle, and here the fighting was of the most desperate character. General Rodes moved Daniel's brigade from its works to meet the enemy. General Kershaw extended so as to allow Ramseur to be withdrawn, and as Daniel's right was unprotected, Ramseur was sent in there. He retook the works to Daniel's right along his whole brigade front by a charge of unsurpassed gallantry. But the salient was still held by the enemy, and a most deadly fire poured on his right flank. Accordingly, Harris's Mississippi brigade, which came to my assistance about 9 A. M., was sent to Ramseur's right; but as it still failed to fill the trenches, McGowan's South Carolina brigade, which arrived an hour later, was ordered to the same point. Only part of this brigade succeeded in reaching the trenches and joining Harris's brigade. Spite of the terrible flank-fire to which they were yet exposed, the brave troops of these three brigades held their ground till 3 A. M. the 13th May, when ordered back to the new line. General Daniel was killed and General Ramseur severely wounded early in the day, but the latter refused to leave the field. The nature of the struggle will be apparent from the fact that after the loss of Johnson's division (before sunrise) my force barely numbered eight Thousand—the reinforcements about fifteen hundred more. General Ed. Johnson estimated the enemy's force at this part of the field at over forty thousand, and I have every reason to believe this a moderate calculation. The engagement was spoken of in Northern papers as a general attack by their army. It was met only by my corps and three brigades sent to my aid, and after lasting with unintermitted vigor from half-past 4 A. M. till 4 P. M. of the 12th May, ceased by degrees, leaving us in possession of two-thirds of the works first taken from us, and of four of the captured guns which the enemy had been unable to haul off. These guns were withdrawn by hand to the McCoull house, and General Long was directed to

1 I think this may probably be a clerical error for 14 hours, although the firing lasted far into the following night.—C. B.

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.
S. D. Ramseur (4)
Junius Daniel (4)
Rodes (2)
Edward Johnson (2)
William T. Harris (2)
Samuel McGowan (1)
A. L. Long (1)
J. B. Kershaw (1)
Robert D. Johnston (1)
William W. Gordon (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.
May 13th (1)
May 12th (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: