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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 667 Chapter XLVIII. RAPIDAN TO THE JAMES.

right flank, a change of front to the right and rear was executed about dusk. The brigade remained in this position during the night, connecting on the right with Ayres' brigade, of the First Division, Fifth Corps. On the morning of the 9th it was relieved by Crawford's division, of the Fifth Corps moved to the left of the Spotsylvania road; took up position, and fortified. During the day several casualties occurred from artillery fire. On the afternoon of the 10th an assault was determined upon, and a column of twelve regiments was organized, the command of which was assigned to me. The point of attack which was shown me by Captain Mackenzie, of the U. S. Engineers, was at an angle of the enemy's works near the Scott house, about half a mile to the left of the Spotsylvania road. His entrenchments were of a formidable character with abatis in front and surmounted by heavy logs, underneath which were loopholes for musketry. In the re-entrant to the right of the house was a battery with traverses between the guns. There were also traverses at intervals along the entire work. About 100 yards to the rear was another line of works, partly completed and occupied by a second line of battle. The position was in an open field about 200 yards the point of attack. The ground was looked over by General Russell and myself, and regimental commanders were also required to see it, that they might understand the work before them. The column of attack, consisting of the Fifth Maine, Ninety-sixth Pennsylvania, and One hundred and twenty-first New York Volunteers, of the Second Brigade; Fifth Wisconsin, Sixth Maine, Forty-ninth, and One hundred and nineteenth Pennsylvania Volunteers, Third Brigade; and Sixth Vermont Volunteers, of the Second Division, was formed in four lines of battle, four regiments being on the right, and eight on the left of the road.

The regiments on the right moved up the road by the right flank; those on the left by the left flank, each regiment lying down as soon as in position. The lines were arranged from right to left as follows: First line, One hundred and twenty-first New York, Ninety-Sixth Pennsylvania, Fifth Maine Volunteers; second line, Forty-ninth Pennsylvania, Sixth Maine, Fifth Wisconsin Volunteers; third line, Forty-third New York, Seventy-seventh New York, One hundred and nineteenth Pennsylvania Volunteers; fourth line, Second Vermont, Fifth Vermont, Sixth Vermont Volunteers. No commands were given in getting into position. The pieces of the first line were loaded and capped; those of the other lines were loaded but not capped; bayonets were fixed. The One hundred and twenty-first New York and Ninety-sixth Pennsylvania Volunteers were instructed as soon as the works were carried to turn to the right and charge the battery. The Fifth Maine was to change front to the left, and open an enfilading fire upon the enemy to the left. The second line was to halt at the works, and open fire to the front if necessary. The third line was to lie down behind the second, and await orders. The fourth line was to advance to the edge of the wood, lie down, and await the issue of the charge. Colonel Seaver, commanding it, was instructed that he might have to form line obliquely to the left and open fire to cover the left flank of the column. All the officers were instructed to repeat the command "Forward" constantly, from the commencement of the charge till the works, were carried. At 10 minutes before 6 p. m. Captain Dalton brought me the order to


Page 667 Chapter XLVIII. RAPIDAN TO THE JAMES.
OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 36, Part 1 (Wilderness-Cold Harbor)
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