previous next

[233] had nothing to do with the disaster which happened to Johnson's division on the 12th.

Soon after the division was in line, night came on, and skirmishers were thrown out and quiet reigned, but it was the hush which precedes the tornado. Tired and worn out as the soldiers were there was no rest for them that night.

The greater part of the line of the division was along the outer edge (the edge next to the enemy) of a body of fine oak timber. As soon as night put an end to the combat, axes, picks and shovels were sent for, and along the whole line through the night the men worked like beavers, and the crash of falling trees, the ring of axes, and the sound of the spade and shovel were heard. Trees were felled and piled upon each other and a ditch dug behind them with the earth out of it thrown against the logs. The limbs and tops of the trees as cut off from the trunks were used to form abattis, by placing them in front of the breastworks with the sharpened points towards the enemy.

By daylight next morning a very formidable line of fortifications frowned upon the foe, and our troops rested quietly and confident of victory, should the enemy attack them. Between the morning of the 9th and the morning of the 12th, this line of breastworks was much strengthened, and became one of the very best lines of temporary field works I ever saw. It was apparently impregnable. Just behind the intrenched line of infantry, artillery was placed at the most eligible points, to sweep the approaching enemy with shot and shell and cannister.

A description of the ground in front of the Confederate troops at this point will serve to explain the situation more fully.

Just in front of Ramseur's position there was a cleared and open space for two or three hundred yards. Then came a dense forest of pine timber with the limbs hanging down to the ground, shutting off all view of the interior.

The enemy's skirmishers occupied the edge of the forest, nearest Ramseur's line, and kept up a spirited fire at short range, which compelled his men to keep close behind their breastworks. On Ramseur's right, in front of the Stonewall brigade, the pine forest was much less dense, and did not approach so near our line, while our skirmishers were pushed into the timber, and the enemy's skirmishers were kept at a safe distance. Opposite the right of the Stonewall brigade the timber which came so close to their front terminated

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.
Stephen D. Ramseur (3)
Edward Johnson (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.
12th (2)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: