surgeon, Dr. James W. Claiborne, whom I found at his infirmary, about a mile to the rear, and principally occupied in attending the enemy, of which he had a large number, many of them desperately wounded, and among them was General Wadsworth, of New York, who was brought to our infirmary with a minie wound in the forehead, and was placed alone in an officer's tent, which had been put in position for his especial benefit.
He died, however, in a few minutes after being placed on his back in this tent.
Permit me in closing to mention the name of Private Dillon, of Company A, Twelfth Virginia regiment, “a low private in the rear rank,” when out of action.
His conspicuous modesty gave place to conspicuous gallantry while in the field, and his peculiarity being that of crying while fighting, he was crying in earnest and fighting hard when I left the field.
To Comrade E. M. Feild
of the Twelfth Virginia regiment at the Battle of the Wilderness
, and subsequently its colonel, I next submitted the foregoing correspondence, and here is his reply:
I was present at the Battle of the Wilderness, in command of about one hundred and seventy of the picked men of Mahone's brigade, who had but a short time before been organized by General Mahone into a battalion of sharpshooters, composed of five companies.
Soon after the brigade reached the Wilderness, on the morning of the 6th of May, we moved out to the right and south of the plank road and so extended our line of battle that was then formed in the woods facing east.
I then advanced the battalion of sharpshooters as skirmishers about one hundred and fifty yards in front of the brigade.
I do not know exactly how long we had been there, when General Mahone, riding up, informed me that an attack was about to be made on the flank and front of the enemy's lines on the south side of the plank-road; that General Longstreet had sent two brigades through an old railroad cut to attack the enemy on his (the enemy's) left flank, and that with his (Mahone's) brigade he would attack in front.
He directed me to move forward slowly and gently with my sharpshooters until I heard the cheers of the flanking brigade, when I was to advance quickly to the front and attack.
Ordering the men forward, we moved very slowly to the front for some distance, when, hearing a tremendous “ rebel yell” on our right, we pushed forward as rapidly as the thick undergrowth would