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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 1042 OPERATIONS IN SE. VA. AND N.C. Chapter XLVIII.

About 9 a.m. of the 8th the head of the column came in sight of the Court-House, and found the enemy just getting into view on the Fredericksburg road, driving back a small cavalry force which there opposed them. At the same time a strong infantry column assailed another cavalry force which disputed their entrance on the Todd's Tavern road. General Alexander, accompanying General Anderson with his advanced column immediately sent Major Haskell with two batteries to the assistance of our cavalry. On the Todd's Tavern road two infantry brigades also went in support. These batteries were stubbornly engaged for two hours. Their ammunition being then exhausted and considerable loss experienced, they were withdrawn. During a part of the action they had suffered under a flank reverse fire from a battery belonging to that force of the enemy which had reached the Court-House by the other route. In the engagement Captain Potts, a most deserving, gallant, and efficient officer, was mortally wounded. Field's division meanwhile drove the enemy from the Court-House, and Huger's battalion was posted on the front. Upon the Todd's Tavern road, the enemy still pressing in force, more of our infantry had to be there concentrated, and five of Cabell's guns were sent under Major Hamilton to that line and assisted materially in repelling the enemy's assaults. Subsequently a front line having been selected by the general chief of artillery, under advice of General Stuart, crossing the Todd's Tavern road on a piney knoll with an opening in front, five of Huger's batteries were placed in position on that line in very close proximity to the enemy, his guns being not more than 400 yards off, his sharpshooters scarcely over 100 yards. The same afternoon (8th) Ewell's corps (Second), which had left the Wilderness at dawn, arrived and bivouacked on the line which it was to occupy on the right of the Todd's Tavern road and beyond that wing of the First Corps. A few of its guns were put in position on the Court-House front, the rest parked for the night. The Third Corps, temporarily commanded by General Early (General Hill being, unwell), remaining with its artillery as rear guard of the army, did not leave position at the Wilderness till, late in the day of the 8th, and did not that night proceed beyond Shady Grove. One section of McIntosh's battalion was in the evening engaged with the rear guard of the enemy.

On the 9th, our line being established, most of the artillery was posted along its entire course and protected by slight earth-works: Cabell's battalion on the left flank, four Napoleons, under Major Gibbes, occupying the left of the line of battle, the remaining guns being on an interior or second line upon higher ground, so as to cover and assist the front line. Haskell's battalion and Woolfolk's battery, of Huger's battalion, on the second line, to Cabell's right, and Huger's five batteries close up to the enemy on the front line, crossing the Todd's Tavern road. Farther to the right Page's and Braxton's guns were in position, with the infantry (Second Corps) on the intrenched line of battle. On this part of the line, as at the Wilderness, dense woods prevented the effective use of much artillery. A portion of Hardaway's and Nelson's guns occupied the line much farther to the right on the left of the Court-House opening, Cutshaw's being in reserve. As the artillery of the Third Corps arrived in the course of this day it was posted on the line still farther to the right-Poague's guns on the left of the front to be occupied by this corps, Pegram's next, crossing the Fredericksburg road a


Page 1042 OPERATIONS IN SE. VA. AND N.C. Chapter XLVIII.
OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 36, Part 1 (Wilderness-Cold Harbor)
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