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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 1047 Chapter XLVIII. RAPIDAN TO THE JAMES.

On the morning of the 23rd eight of Haskell's, and four of Cabell's were placed in position near the river to defend the Telegraph road and railroad bridges. Reconnaissances were also made for other positions above and below. That afternoon the enemy appeared in heavy force and engaged those batteries. One small body of infantry-one or two regiments left on the north side to defend that extremity of the Telegraph road bridge-had to retire before the enemy's superior numbers,but our guns kept the enemy himself from then attempting the bridge. While this occurred in the center, fords on the right were guarded by guns of the Second Corps, Braxton's battalion especially being posted advantageously for the purpose near the Doswell house. The enemy at the same time made a demonstration in force on our left, higher up the river at Jericho Ford, and forces of the Third Corps occupying that flank were sent to meet him. Poague's battalion accompanying Heth's division, and Pegram's co-operating with Wilcox. Most of the artillery was arranged on the right and rather in rear of the infantry, under cover of some rising ground. Simultaneously with the attack of our infantry the batteries were rapidly advanced to the crest of the hill and opened fire on the enemy's reserve line immediately at the ford. This fire was continued with vigor until the enemy's line gave way and disappeared. His batteries were soon after brought up and a sharp cannonade ensued, but without material results. Major Ward, second in command of Poague's battalion (a devout Christian, gallant soldier, and efficient officer), was here killed by a cannon shot. McIntosh's battalion was about the same time placed in position to cover Anderson's Ford, and was on this day partially engaged with the enemy's guns, having a limber blown up in Clutter's battery, and Lieutenant Pearce, commanding the battery mortally wounded. Still farther to the right and nearer our center Major Lane, of Cutts' battalion, was assigned position with six rifles on a bluff back of the Montgomery house, which commanded both the Telegraph road bridge, below and Anderson's Ford, above.

On the night of the 23rd a new line of battle for our center and right was selected farther back from the river and on more advantageous ground, and on that line the guns of the First and Second Corps were posted from center to right as before. Portions of the enemy having crossed the river appeared in view of this line at several points on the 24th and occasional skirmishing and cannon shots ensued, but no attack was made. On this day also the enemy continued demonstrating on our left, so as to require there on our part a considerable accumulation of force, Poague's battalion occupying position on the extreme left to Little River, Pegram's, McIntosh's, and Lane's guns retaining their places of the previous day, Richardson's accompanying Mahone's division, holding a second line near the Anderson house and Braxton's, of the Second Corps, from the right wing, coming with Gordon's division as a support to the same point, their place on the right being supplied by Breckinridge's troops and guns. Lane's guns were used with good effect all this day, annoying and damaging the enemy as his troops would approach and cross the Telegraph road bridge. A severe fire from the enemy's batteries was brought to bear upon him, killing and wounding several men and shattering an ammunition-chest, but not otherwise interfering with his work.

Captain Wingfield and Private E. Hemington, with an intrepidity


Page 1047 Chapter XLVIII. RAPIDAN TO THE JAMES.
OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 36, Part 1 (Wilderness-Cold Harbor)
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