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The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies

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OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 36, Part 1 (Wilderness-Cold Harbor)
Page 319 Chapter XLVIII. RAPIDAN TO THE JAMES.

of battle along that road. Mott's and Gibbon's divisions, coming up rapidly, took their position on Birney's left in the same formation. Barlow's division, with the exception of Frank's brigade, which was stationed at the junction of the Brock road and the road leading to the Catharpin Furnaces, held the left of my line, and was thrown forward on some high, clear ground in front of the Brock road. This elevated ground commanded the country for some distance to the right and left covering the Fredericksburg and Orange Court-House Railroad in front. Owing to the dense forest which covered my front this was the only point on my line where artillery could have an effective range, and I, therefore, directed that all of the batteries of my command, save Dow's (Sixth Maine) battery and one section of Ricketts' (F) company, First Pennsylvania Artillery, should be placed in position there, supported by Barlow's division, and forming the extreme left of the line of battle of the army. Dow's battery was placed in position in the second line of battle near the left of Mott's division. One section of Ricketts' battery, under the orders of General Getty, was placed on the Orange plank road, at the point where our line of battle crossed it. My division commanders had been directed to erect breast-works immediately upon going into position. This was accomplished without delay. Commencing at the point where my right joined General Getty's left, a substantial line of breast-works was constructed of earth and logs the whole length of my line of battle, running along the Brock road until the line diverged to the right. In inclosed the high ground occupied by Barlow's division and the artillery, from which point it was refused sharply to the left and carried across the brock road to protect my left flank. An important road connecting the Brock and Catharpin roads came into the Brock road near where my line of breast-works terminated on the left. The second line of battle also threw up breast-works in rear of the first line, and subsequently a third line was constructed in rear of the Third and Fourth Divisions. At 2.30 p. m. I received a dispatch from Major-General Humphreys, chief of staff of the Army of the Potomac, stating that the enemy's infantry had driven our cavalry down the Orange plank road from Parker's Store, and that a portion of A. P. Hill's corps was moving on that road toward its intersection with the Brock road. This dispatch stated further that General Getty's division, of the Sixth Corps, had been ordered to drive the enemy back on the Orange road, but that it might not be able to do so. I was directed to move out the Orange plank road, supporting General Getty's division toward Parker's Store; to drive the enemy beyond that point, to occupy it, and to unite with General Warren's left on the right of Parker's Store. General Warren's line was said to extend from the Orange turnpike to within 1 mile of the plank road in the vicinity of the store. At 2.15 p. m. I had received a dispatch form General Humphreys to the effect that the enemy held the Orange plank road nearly to its junction with the Brock road, directing me to attack with General Getty's and my own command, and to endeavor to connect with General Warren on the Orange plank road, the same dispatch stating that Griffin's division, of the Fifth Corps, had been driven back somewhat on the Orange pike; that Warren's left (Crawford' division) was within 1 mile of Parker's Store, but that it was possible that Crawford would be withdrawn or be driven in by the enemy. When these dispatches reached me the greater portion of my troops


Page 319 Chapter XLVIII. RAPIDAN TO THE JAMES.
OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 36, Part 1 (Wilderness-Cold Harbor)
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