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

On the morning of the 6th the First, Second, and Third Divisions of the Corps got under way, the head of the Second Division starting at 1 a. m., the Third Division following. The First Division was directed to report to Major-General Hancock, commanding the Second Corps. The Provisional Brigade and cavalry were so disposed as to relived these three divisions. The Fourth Division started from Mountain Run at 4 o'clock on the morning of the 6th, crossed the Germanna Ford, and at 7 a. m., received orders from the lieutenant-general commanding to report to Major-General Sedgwick, commanding Sixth Corps, for instructions. From that time until July this division was at no time under my immediate control, it having become necessary to make it a guard for the general train of the army, receiving its orders directly from the headquarters of the lieutenant-general or from the headquarters Army of the Potomac. With the remaining two divisions, the Second and Third, I moved out on the Parker's Store road, between the positions then held by Generals Warren and Hancock, and after crossing the Wilderness Run at about daylight, General Potter was directed to make his dispositions with a view to pressing his force forward so as to seize, if possible, the point known as Parker's Store, Griffin's brigade leading and Colonel Bliss' disposed so as to protect the left flank. These movements were executed most creditably under a brisk artillery and infantry fire of the enemy. General Willcox's division was so disposed on the right and left of the road as to support the movement of General Potter, who had already pushed his advanced line across the open ground beyond the run and gained the edge of timber on the opposite side of the field. Just as preparations were being made to charge the enemy and drive them front he woods which intervened between this point and Parker's Store, and order was received from the lieutenant-general commanding to move all the available force for the corps to the left, with a view to tacking the enemy on the right of General Hancock. After consultation with Lieutenant-Colonel Comstock, who brought the order, it was thought best to move General Potter's command by the left flank through the woods until it reached a proper position for attack, and to leave General Willcox for the present to cover the Parker's Store road. The obstacles in the way of General Potter's movement were much more formidable than was at first supposed; a dense and almost impenetrable undergrowth caused considerable confusion, irregularity, and delay, but finally General Potter succeeded in getting his command into an open field which was comparatively near the proposed point of attack, where he formed his brigades and moved them forward thought a thick growth of timber in the direction of the enemy. It was impossible to see anything of their position, in fact but little could be seen of the movement of our own troops after they entered the woods. In a short time our men came in contact with the enemy, who were well entrenched on the opposite side of a swampy ravine, soon after which their line was charged and a portion of it carried, but our men were not able to hold the advance ground gained. Two more gallant charges were made by this division, which resulted in considerable advantage of position to us, yet the enemy's line was not carried. General Willcox, of the Third Division, had made his dispositions for the support of the first movement of General Potter on Parker's Store, and afterward held the Parker's Store road, under a heavy artillery fire of the enemy, until


Page 906 OPERATIONS IN SE. VA. AND N. C. Chapter XLVIII.
OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 36, Part 1 (Wilderness-Cold Harbor)
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