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e, the enemy had probably failed to observe it. I never had the means of ascertaining the strength of the force which we had encountered. The division of General Wadsworth was there, probably supported by other troops. General Wadsworth himself was killed on the Plank road by the Fourth Alabama. They covered a front of at leaGeneral Wadsworth himself was killed on the Plank road by the Fourth Alabama. They covered a front of at least a half mile, and consisted of several lines. An officer of Heth's division, Colonel Jones, whom I met by accident after the war, informed me that a number of his wounded were left on the field in the morning, and were borne back after the ground was recovered, and that they all concurred in the statement that six or seven linesthe advanced line of works. About this time a Federal officer came up the road within a few steps of my right, and was shot from his horse. It proved to be General Wadsworth, of the United States regulars. Soon afterwards the Twentieth Georgia regiment moved up and formed in rear of my right, parallel to the road. It was hardly
the campaign of 1864, and are glad to be able to publish this sketch of the battle of the Wilderness, by General Perry, and to have the assurance that he will follow it up by other sketches of the same campaign.] It was my fortune to command Law's brigade of Field's division, Longstreet's corps, during the greater part of the year 1864--first as its senior colonel, and afterwards as its permanent commander. The report which was made in August of the part taken by my command in the great to speak, witnessed it; or, so far as I am aware, has ever heard of it to this day. The only accounts I have seen of the battle on the left of the Plank road conveyed the impression that the attacks of Gregg and Benning left little or nothing for Law's brigade to do but to march up and occupy the ground which had been won. No one is to blame for this, for no one knew any better. Those two able men and brave officers were my comrades in arms and my personal friends. They are both sleeping in
Fitzhugh Lee (search for this): chapter 2.5
of his column reached the point where stood General Lee, like a pillar of cloud, the only remaining It was thrown into line in the presence of General Lee on the left of the road. I shall not attems brought to the attention of mankind — was General Lee. The conception of his appearance in my mid left regiments, I sent a staff officer to General Lee with instructions to say that I had driven be relieved. Judging from this reply that General Lee supposed that my command had exhausted its the only troops on the left of the road. General Lee's line was now thoroughly established, and ave been decisive of the campaign. That of General Lee might have ended as did the battle of Chanc threw him on the defensive. The effort of General Lee was still to come. The plan of attack was t quarter was impending. I communicated to General Lee the information I had received, and began t Captain L. R. Terrell was sent in haste to General Lee to explain the situation and ask for help, [4 more...]
rted by comrades, and others making their way alone. Close behind them were the broken masses of Heth's division, swarming through the woods, heedless of their officers, who were riding in every direo, in one of those great crises, which few men are ever called upon to meet twice in a lifetime. Heth was far to the rear; the last battalion of Wilcox had broken just as the head of his column reachma. They covered a front of at least a half mile, and consisted of several lines. An officer of Heth's division, Colonel Jones, whom I met by accident after the war, informed me that a number of hisfresh division, to be hurled upon that shattered, reeling flank! But no; there are no reserves. Heth has not yet reorganized, and Wilcox has moved far to the left to open communication with Ewell. s severely wounded, and never rejoined his command. Shortly after my brigade was reformed, General Heth moved up with a part, at least, of his division, and the two commands advanced together over
J. W. Wigginton (search for this): chapter 2.5
even to recall the names of many of those whose gallantry entitled them to honorable mention. The following was the composition of the brigade when the campaign began: The Fourth Alabama regiment, commanded by Colonel P. D. Bowles (afterwards Brigadier-General). The Fifteenth Alabama, under Colonel William C. Oates. The Forty-fourth Alabama, under Lieutenant-Colonel John A. Jones. The Forty-seventh Alabama, under Major J. M. Campbell. The Forty-eighth Alabama, under Major J. W. Wigginton. The brigade numbered not exceeding fifteen hundred men rank and file. Battle of the Wilderness. When General Grant began his advance from Culpeper, two divisions of General Longstreet's corps, Kershaw's and Field's, were in the neighborhood of Gordonsville, having recently arrived from east Tennessee. The march began on the 4th of May, I believe, about 2 o'clock. After dark on the evening of the 5th the troops went into camp nearly ten miles, as the road ran, from the poin
R. H. Anderson (search for this): chapter 2.5
an thirty thousand veterans recoil before them. But the column of Field was now pressing up, Anderson's Georgia brigade in front. It was deployed on the right of the road, where the enemy were in an attack, I continued to occupy my extended line, until a staff officer of General Perrin, of Anderson's division, reported to me for advice as to where his command should be established. It was ple soon repulsed, and made no farther effort at this point during the day. A Florida brigade, of Anderson's division, now arrived, and I received orders to drop to the rear of the two and act as a supp his army between General Grant and his objective point. The arrival of Longstreet's corps and Anderson's division defeated the plan of Grant, and threw him on the defensive. The effort of General Lkins is killed. The command of the corps and that of the brigade devolve respectively upon General Anderson and Colonel Bratton, who, unacquainted doubtless with the situation, and ignorant of the pl
were too near at hand and their momentum was too great. Nothing was left us but an inglorious retreat, executed in the shortest possible time and without regard to order. It was the first time since its organization, and, until it folded its colors forever at Appomattox, it was the last, that the brigade ever was broken on the battlefield. But the promised reinforcement came. It was not in time to save us from a great mortification; but it was in time to retrieve the disaster. It was Wofford's brigade of Kershaw's division. It swooped down upon the enemy in the midst of their exultation and confusion, and swept them away like chaff. I was hardly near enough, and was too busily engaged in reforming my men, to witness the achievement, and only knew that the enemy disappeared like an apparition, and subsequently learned the cause. The Florida brigade had narrowly escaped capture by falling back precipitately with my own. General Perry was severely wounded, and never rejoined hi
George W. Carey (search for this): chapter 2.5
otly engaged, as will be seen hereafter. On returning to the line, I first struck the Forty-fourth Alabama, the second regiment in size in the brigade. Colonel Jones had been wounded, and the command had devolved upon its youthful Major, George W. Carey. The line was well closed up. The gallantry of Major Carey was very conspicuous, as was usual. His commanding form was in front of the centre of his line, his countenance ablaze, the flag in his left hand, and his long sword waving in his Major Carey was very conspicuous, as was usual. His commanding form was in front of the centre of his line, his countenance ablaze, the flag in his left hand, and his long sword waving in his right Moving to the left, I found the Forty-eighth giving evident signs of faltering. Many of the men were leaving the ranks and taking shelter behind the trees. The fire was severe, but the enemy, being a little back of the crest of the hill, sent most of their balls over our heads. At this critical moment the gallant Fifteenth appeared upon the left. Colonel Oates, finding no enemy in his immediate front, swung his regiment round to the right, and delivered a single volley up the line whi
C. W. Field (search for this): chapter 2.5
tches of the same campaign.] It was my fortune to command Law's brigade of Field's division, Longstreet's corps, during the greater part of the year 1864--firstvance from Culpeper, two divisions of General Longstreet's corps, Kershaw's and Field's, were in the neighborhood of Gordonsville, having recently arrived from east hat more than thirty thousand veterans recoil before them. But the column of Field was now pressing up, Anderson's Georgia brigade in front. It was deployed on trgia regiments, which had reformed farther to the rear. Shortly afterwards General Field approached and said: this is all of my command that I can find. I was soon reporting directly to the Commander-in-Chief, because I did not know where General Field was to be found, and was communicating knowledge that I thought General Leepany with General Jenkins, at the head of his splendid brigade — the largest in Field's division, and one of the largest in the army — and had almost reached the poi
d with the movements of my own command. The report of General Hancock, however, although the uglier features of his situation are doubtless toned down, proves how near we were to a great victory. He says that Frank's brigade was swept away; that Mott's division was thrown into confusion; that he endeavored to restore order, and reform his line of battle by throwing back his left, so as to rest it upon the Brock road; that he was unable to effect this, owing to the partial disorganization of thssault upon that triple line of fortifications. The result serves to indicate how easy the victory would have been at 9 o'clock, before time had been allowed to reform. Let an eye witness, the correspondent of the New York World, tell the story: Mott's division fell back in confusion; Stevenson's division gave way confusedly, compelling the left center to fall back some distance. One of its regiments was captured almost in a body. There was imminent danger of a general break. * * Stragglers
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