58. battles of the Wilderness, Va: the battle of Thursday, May 5, 1864.
From midnight of Tuesday until the dawn of Thursday the fifth, the Army of the Potomac, closely succeeded by that of Burnside, had been crossing the Rapidan river, the Second corps of Ely's, the Fifth and Sixth corps at Germania ford.
The enemy, from their signal station on Clark's mountain, observed the entire movement — a fact distinctly ascertained by our own signal officers, who deciphered their messages during the day.
The order issued to the Army of the Potomac, Wednesday night--after the crossing of that Army had been effected, and when Burnside was on the way — directed it to move forward in parallel lines, Hancock's corps to the vicinity of Shady Grove Church, the Fifth and Sixth corps along the Germania plank-road to Old Wilderness Tavern and beyond.
The Fifth and Second corps were, to connect as soon as possible, throw out strong reconnoissances toward Catharpen run, Todd's Tavern, and o