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[243]

The opposing forces were, during the 7th, only occupied in light skirmishing. I was directed by General Ewell to make a reconnoissance in the direction of Germania Ford. Taking one brigade of infantry and two battalions of artillery, I advanced to the Germania plank-road, striking it about a mile from the ford. Two or three regiments of cavalry were occupying the road at this point. These were soon driven away by a few well-directed shots, a small number retreating towards the ford, and the rest in the direction of the main body of Grant's army. It was discovered that the enemy had almost entirely abandoned the ford and road; it was evident that they were leaving our front. Late in the afternoon I was ordered by General Ewell to hold myself in readiness to move. Nelson, Hardaway and Cutshaw were directed to encamp at Verdiersville. Braxton and Page were ordered to remain with the infantry and move with it. The enemy was found on the morning of the 8th to be shifting his position towards Spotsylvania Courthouse. Our whole army also moved in that direction, and arrived at that place on the same evening. A few guns were put in position near the Courthouse. The infantry of General Ewell's corps bivouacked on the position it was to occupy in line of battle. On the 9th General Ewell's line was accurately established and fortified. Braxton's and Page's battalions were put in position along the line of infantry. This position, like the one at the Wilderness, was not well adapted to the effective use of artillery, the view being obstructed by forest and old field pine. General Hill's position to the right of General Ewell afforded a better field. The artillery was, however, carefully posted, with the view of rendering the most effective support to the infantry. On the morning of the 10th, Braxton and Page were relieved by Nelson and Hardaway, the former occupying the positions on Johnson's front, and the latter those on Rodes's front. In the afternoon, the enemy having massed heavily in front of Rodes (Doles's brigade) under cover of a dense pine thicket, made a sudden attack upon this brigade, broke it and entered our works, overrunning and capturing Smith's battery of Hardaway's battalion. Our infantry was soon rallied, and, being reinforced, repulsed the enemy and recaptured the battery. The Captain and some of his men were made prisoners and carried off. Hardaway's guns were principally engaged in this attack and were served with gallantry and effect. Smith's guns being without cannoneers, were manned by Captain Garber and his men, of Cutshaw's battalion. In this attack the gallant Major Watson, of Hardaway's battalion, was mortally wounded. Lieutenantnel


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