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nd Sedgwick stretched from near the river, through the forest, across the road leading to Locust Grove, to within half a mile of the Orange Court-house road. Across this road, and far to the left, the troops led by Hancock were disposed--Colonel Carroll's and General Hayes' (now Colonel Crocker's) brigades on the right, and Generals Ward's and Owen's brigades on the left of the thoroughfare. The three brigades of General Getty's division of the Sixth corps, commanded by Generals Eustis, Wheaton, and Grant, were in support. General Mott's division, of the Second corps, adjoined on the left — the whole left of this line being under command of Birney. The divisions of Generals Gibbon and Barlow formed the left of the line, under command of Gibbon. Our cavalry were operating still further on the left, and the left flank of the army was, for the first time, in a position strongly supported by artillery. At precisely twenty minutes before five o'clock, Friday morning, the enemy an
eisance of death before him, he does not come on. And as the day dies, and the darkness creeps up from the west, although no cheer of victory swells through the Wilderness from either side, we have accomplished this much at least, with much sore loss: the concentration of our army, the holding of the junction of the Orange Court-house and Brock roads; the turning back of the enemy's right flank from our path toward Richmond, and the average gain of a half mile of ground. Battle of Friday, May six. It will be seen that the battle just partially sketched was a forced battle, consisting for the most part of a series of assaults for the purpose of defending the position obtained Thursday morning, and effecting the junction of the army. The uncertainty of the situation had prevented the full and combined exertion of our strength, and as Longstreet had not yet been heard of, it was surmised that the enemy would prove himself in stronger force on the morrow. During the night the s
May 5th, 1864 AD (search for this): chapter 136
Doc. 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
nding three or four men. A sort of radiating skedaddle prevails from that spot on the instant, and even a line of infantry drawn up on the crest of a hill is seen to slightly waver. It is difficult for troops to stand quiet under such a fire. They feel too much at an enemy's mercy. They would rather be in a position to give back blow for blow. This is only an episode. The day wears on, and before night there are signs of something to be done. At dusk of this day, Saturday, the seventh instant, an order was issued for the whole army to move toward Spottsylvania Court-house, via Todd's tavern. The Fifth corps marched in advance, the Sixth-corps next, Hancock and Burnside following. The Sixth corps marched on the Chancellorsville road, reaching Piney Branch Church toward the latter part of Sunday forenoon. Soon after dark, Saturday evening, a subdued and impressive murmur began to rise from the encampments of the army. A strong picket line was pushed to the front, and an
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