On the 12th of May, at Spotsylvania Courthouse, in front of the salient, on the left of the Fredericksburg
road, this corps behaved with conspicuous gallantry in the presence of General Lee
That afternoon, after the brigade had attacked Burnside
's corps in flank, General Lee
sent for Lane
, told him he had witnessed their gallant behavior and the cheerfulness with which they had borne the hardships of the day, and he did not have the heart to order them forward again; and yet, he wished them to make an important reconnoisance for him on the Fredericksburg
When assured that they would cheerfully do whatever he wished, he replied: ‘Tell them it is a request and not an order.’
reported for instructions, General Lee
especially cautioned him to let his men know that he would not send them unless they were willing to go. It was an inspiring sight when those brave fellows marched past their beloved chieftain.
Every cap was waved and cheer followed cheer.
, superbly mounted, gracefully bared his head, and uttered not a word, while the troops in the works joined in the cheering as those tired and hungry heroes went to the front.
On the 18th of May, while General Early
, temporarily in command of A. P. Hill
's corps, and Generals Wilcox
and a number of staff officers were standing near the brick kiln, the enemy honored the group with a short but rapid artillery fire, under which Nicholson
was severely wounded.
Major Thomas J. Wooten
, of the 18th, was then ordered to take charge of the corps, and he continued in command until the surrender at Appomattox Courthouse.
Young, cool and brave, but modest as a girl, he was a worthy successor of Knox
This corps rendered splendid service from Spotsylvania Courthouse to Petersburg
Its first brilliant exploit near the ‘Cockade City’ was the surprise and capture of the enemy's videttes and reserve, without the loss of a man. The following will tell how it was appreciated: