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[256] river could not be crossed at Genito bridge, arrangements were made to prepare the railroad bridge at Mattoax Station for the passage of the wagons, artillery and troops, which was accomplished that night, and all went into camp on the hills beyond the river. Early on Wednesday, April 5th, the bridge having been destroyed, the column moved on to Amelia Courthouse, at which place the Naval Battalion, commanded by Commodore Tucker, and the command of Major Frank Smith, from Howlett's, were added to my division. From Amelia Courthouse General Ewell's column, following that of General Anderson, and followed by that of General Gordon, much impeded by the wagon-trains, moved towards Jetersville and Amelia Springs, marching slowly all night. During this night march, firing having commenced between our flankers and some of the enemy's scouts, as is supposed, Major Frank Smith was mortally wounded, Captain Nash, Acting Adjutant-General, Barton's brigade, lost a leg, and several others, whose names I have not been able to ascertain, were wounded. We passed Amelia Springs on the morning of Thursday, April 6th, and moved towards Rice's Station. About mid-day, immediately after crossing a little stream, within about two miles of Sailor's Creek, the enemy's cavalry made an attack upon a portion of General Anderson's column about a mile in advance of us, at the point where the wagon-train turned off to the right, causing some delay and confusion in the train. The cavalry were soon driven off, and my division, followed by General Kershaw's, closed upon General Anderson. About this time the enemy attacked our train at the stream we had shortly before crossed, and appeared in heavy force to the left of our line of march between this stream and Sailor's Creek, which, measured on the road we travelled, are about two miles apart. Word was also received from General Gordon that the enemy was pressing him heavily. To cover the wagon-train and prevent General Gordon from being cut off, line of battle was formed along the road, and a strong line of skirmishers was thrown out, which drove back the enemy's skirmishers and held him in check until General Gordon came up in the rear of the wagons, which must have been from one to two hours after the skirmishing commenced. So soon as General Gordon closed up, my division, following General Anderson's rear, and followed by General Kershaw, moved on across Sailor's Creek towards the point where General Pickett was understood to be engaged with the enemy's cavalry, which had cut the line of march in the interval between him and General Mahone. General Gordon having filed off to the right after the wagon-trains,

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William W. Gordon (6)
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