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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 1044 OPERATIONS IN SE. VA. AND N.C. Chapter XLVIII.

Major David Watson, second in command of Hardaway's battalion, an accomplished gentleman, faithful patriot, and gallant soldier, fell at his post during this attack mortally wounded. Lieutenant-Colonel Hardaway was also wounded-only slightly, however, though his clothes were riddled with bullets. He did not leave the field.

The enemy, thus punished along the entire line on the 10th, made no serious attack on the 11th. Heavy skirmishing, however, occurred from left to right, in which the artillery occasionally took part. Late in the afternoon of this day the commanding general, having reason to believe the enemy withdrawing and intending to leave him no time to gain distance upon us, directed the general chief of artillery to have brought back from the front line before it should be entirely dark all guns so situated as to be difficult to withdraw at night, so that everything might be ready to march at any hour. Under this order General Alexander had his ammunition-chests in the trenches mounted on the caissons, and gun carriages taken to the vicinity of their guns, but retained the latter in position as the safest course. General Long having a more difficult route for his artillery on Johnson's front-by a narrow and intricate road through a wood- preferred executing the order literally, especially as the night promised to be very dark.* Nelson's and Page's battalions were accordingly withdrawn. This left unprotected an extensive salient of about a quarter of a mile across and nearly a mile around, which constituted the left of Johnson's line. A section of Page's battalion was sent, with a proper infantry guard, to escort a wagon train to Guiney's Depot, on the Richmond and Fredericksburg Railroad.

At 3 a.m. of the 12th Page's battalion was hastily summoned back to the line,it having been found that the enemy was preparing to make there a heavy attack. It was prepared and moved up with extraordinary speed and arrived at the proper point, but not in time to arrest disaster. Before the guns could be brought into action, or even more than one or two unlimbered, the enemy's masses, had overpowered Johnson's division and taken possession of the Salient. All of Page's guns were enveloped and captured except 2, which succeeded in getting off. At the same time 2 of Cutshaw's batteries, which had the previous evening been posted on the left bank of the Salient to enfilade Doles' front, were also captured. The enemy could thus boast of getting 20 guns-12 from Page and 8 from Cutshaw. In addition to the unfortunate withdrawal of our guns the enemy was favored in his movement and we were obstructed in counteracting it by the extreme darkness of a very dense fog. Arrangements were made as soon as possible to check the enemy and prevent any additional damage. Braxton's and Nelson's and a portion of Hardaway's battalions were posted by Colonel Carter on a second line about the prolongation leftwise of that held by the guns near the Court-House. Other guns were also taken to the front near the gorge of the Salient. Major Cutshaw and Captain Garber, with their men that had escaped capture, reached some of the guns which the enemy could not carry off, and, turning them, used them with good effect. Captain Montgomery plied effectively also a single gun at short range, and with such constancy as to exhaust three caissons of ammunition. The enemy could not ad-

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*See indorsements on General Long's report, p. 1088.

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Page 1044 OPERATIONS IN SE. VA. AND N.C. Chapter XLVIII.
OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 36, Part 1 (Wilderness-Cold Harbor)
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