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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 362 OPERATIONS IN SE. VA. AND N. C. Chapter XLVIII.

As soon as our lines came within range we were received with a most destructive fire of musketry and artillery from the enemy, who was snugly fixed in heavy entrenchments protected by abatis. Our men gallantly rushed on until they came to the edge of this abatis, which was so heavy and firm that they could not penetrate it under the fire, and our lines stood at that point delivering their fire until 10 o'clock, when we were withdrawn, it being found impracticable to carry the position, and our losses were heavy in this assault in killed and wounded. The Sixth Corps attacked at the same time with us on our right, with the same result. The enemy did not attempt to come out of their works when we retired, and the troops were marched back to the captured line of the 12th instant, where we remained until 9 p. m. During this evening and night the First, Second, and Third Division massed near Anderson's Mill, on the Ny Rivery; Tyler's division in position on Fredericksburg road in vicinity of Harris' house.

May 19, 1864.-Corps remained in position as above stated until 6 p. m., when heavy and continued musketry and artillery firing commenced in direction of Harris' house, which was found to be occasioned by Ewell's corps of the enemy having crossed Ny River and attacked Tyler's division, the enemy advancing in direction of Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania road. Great stampede of trains, camp followers, and other rubbish. The enemy close to army headquarters.

Birney at once directed by General Hancock to march to Tyler's support; First and Second Divisions, with artillery soon afterward ordered to same point. Birney moved up very promptly and went into action about 6.15 p. m., on right of General Tyler and on north side of Fredericksburg road (turnpike), and, in conjunction with Tyler, and a portion of the Fifth Corps, drove the enemy across Ny River with severe loss to him in killed and wounded, capturing several hundred prisoners. First and Second Divisions did not become engaged in this action. They marched back to their former position near Anderson's Mill at 7.30 p. m. Birney's division remained in support of Tyler.

May 20,, 1864.-First and Second Division under arms at daybreak prepared to support Tyler and Birney, if required. General Birney reported, however, that the enemy had disappeared during the night from all points on this side Ny River. Tyler then directed to mass his command near Fredericksburg turnpike, Birney's division taking post with First and Second Divisions, near Anderson's Mill. 11 p. m., head of corps, First Divisions, followed by Second, Fourth, and Third Divisions, moved in direction of Massaponax Church and thence toward Guiney's Station, on Richmond and Petersburg Railroad, preceded by Torbert's division of cavalry.

May 21, 1864.-8 a. m., head of column reached point on road opposite Guiney's Station on railway. Slight skirmish here between our advanced cavalry and enemy just at break of day. 10 a. m., troops entered Bowling Green. Torbert had an affair with small force of the enemy, in which we captured 66 prisoners. We learned here that Kemper's brigade of the enemy had left Milford Station, a short distance form Bowling Green, yesterday evening, moving in the direction of Spotsylvania Court-House. Our troops pushed on rapidly through Bowling Green, passing Milford Station, crossing the Mattapony River at wooden bridge and fording near the station and taking possession of the high ground about 1 mile from


Page 362 OPERATIONS IN SE. VA. AND N. C. Chapter XLVIII.
OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 36, Part 1 (Wilderness-Cold Harbor)
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