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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 341 Chapter XLVIII. RAPIDAN TO THE JAMES.

far as Guiney's Station, and at my request the hour of starting was changed to dark, that we might pass the enemy's signal stations as far as practicable before daylight. We were delayed somewhat by the failure of the cavalry to get off at the designated hour, but this proved to be of no material importance. The cavalry was afterward pushed forward energetically by General Torbert.

A little opposition was experienced at Guiney's Station, where we arrived about daylight. The enemy was no encountered again until the cavalry reached Milford Station, when he was found in some force, being a part of Kemper's brigade on its way to Spotsylvania to join Lee. Before our infantry could get up, Torbert had driven this force out of their rifle-pits and across the river, capturing 66 prisoners and securing the brigade. The infantry crossed as soon as it came up, and a strong position was taken at once, and so strengthened during the night that we were willing to undertake its defense against any force of the enemy. The enemy were underubtedly surprised when we came up, as the position on the right bank at Milford is exceedingly strong against an attempt to cross the Mattapony in force.

We remained in this position until the morning of the 23d, when the corps moved to the North Anna, developing along the heights about 1 mile back of the river, the left (Gibbon's division) crossing the Fredericksburg and Richmond Railroad. Birney's division (the right) took position on the right of the Telegraph road, which leads to the wooden bridge across the North Anna. Barlow's division was in the center.

The enemy were seen in large force marching in column on the opposite bank, evidently en route from Spotsylvania. Torbert's cavalry having driven them as far as practicable, I relieved his skirmishers with infantry. The enemy were found to be in force in rifle-pits on the north bank of the North Anna on the tongue of land between the river and Long Creek. General Birney, having reconnoitered the position, was of the opinion that it could be taken, and any report from General Birney, I can only describe what I saw. Egan's and Pierce's brigades, led gallantly by their commanders, yards in breadth, which ascended sharply toward the enemy's position, carrying the entrenchments and driving the enemy pell-mell across the stream with considerable loss to them. Our casualties were about 150 men. This affair was very spirited and brilliant. During the assault the artillery of the corps, under direction of Colonel Tidball, vigorously engaged the opposing batteries. The enemy made several attempts to burn the bridge, but were frustrated by the vigilance and good conduct of our troops. On the left the enemy held the railroad bridge successfully during the night.

On the morning of the 24th, it was found that he had withdrawn from his advanced works on the south bank of the river in our front. We crossed the river and occupied them. General Potter's division, of the Ninth Corps, reported to me, and was assigned to the right of my line. This day was spent in reconnoitering. It was found that the enemy occupied a line of a V shape, the vertex strongly entrenched on the river; one face opposite us, the other opposed to the Fifth and Sixth Corps, which had crossed the river above the point where the enemy's line met the stream. About 6 p. m. General Gibbon's division, occupying my extreme left in front of the Doswell


Page 341 Chapter XLVIII. RAPIDAN TO THE JAMES.
OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 36, Part 1 (Wilderness-Cold Harbor)
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