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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 1070 OPERATIONS IN SE. VA. AND N. C. Chapter XLVIII.

Junction; the Twenty-first Georgia, of Doles' brigade, same division, and Hoke's (North Carolina) brigade, of Early's division, were in North Carolina. About 13,500 effective infantry and 2,000 artillery were present.

By order of General Lee, his corps and division commanders met him on Monday, May 2, 1864, at the signal station on Clark's Mountain. He then gave it as his opinion that the enemy would cross by some of the fords below us, as Germanna or Ely's. They began to do so next day. About noon of the 4th we moved from our camps on the Rapidan toward Locust Grove, on the old turnpike from Orange Court-House to Fredericksburg. Johnson's division and Nelson's battalion of artillery bivouacked 2 miles south of Locust Grove, Rodes just behind them, and Early at Locust Grove. The artillery was close behind Early; Ramseur's brigade, of Rodes' division, with three regiments from each of the other divisions, was left on picket. Next morning I moved down the pike, sending the First North Carolina Cavalry, which I found in my front, on a road that turned to the left toward Germann Ford. About 8 a.m. I sent Major Campbell Brown, of my staff, to General Lee to report my position. In reply he instructed me to regulate my march by General A. P. Hill, whose progress down the plank road I could tell by the firing at the head of his column, and informed me that he preferred not to bring on a general engagement before General Longstreet came up.

Advancing slowly with John M. Jones' brigade, of Johnson's division, in advance, prepared for action, I came about 11 a.m. in sight of a column of the enemy crossing the pike from Germanna Ford toward the plank road. The Stonewall Brigade (Walker's) had been sent down a left-hand road, driving in the enemy's pickets within 1 1/2 miles of Germanna Ford. Being a good deal ahead of General Hill, I halted and again reported through Lieutenant-Colonel Pendleton, of my staff, receiving substantially the same instructions as before. Just after they came the enemy demonstrated against Jones' brigade, and I placed Battle's brigade, of Rodes' division, to support it, with Doles' on Battle's right. They were instructed not to allow themselves to become involved, but to fall back slowly if pressed. Some artillery posted near the pike on Jones' front was withdrawn. Soon afterward the enemy fell suddenly upon Jones' right flank and front, broke his brigade, and drove it back upon Battle's, which it disordered. Daniel's brigade, of Rodes' division, and Gordon's, of Early's, were soon brought up and regained the lost ground, the latter capturing, by a dashing charge, several hundred prisoners and reliving Doles, who, though hard pressed, had held his ground. General John M. Jones and his aide-de-camp, Captain Robert D. Early, fell in a desperate effort to rally their brigade. I placed it in reserve to reorganize; Battle's brigade, which had rallied in time to do good service, taking its place in the line which rallied in time to do good service, taking its place in the line which was now formed on the ground first occupied. The brigades were as follows: From right to left of my line, Daniel's, Doles', Battle's (Rodes' division); George H. Steuart's, The Stonewall (Walker's), Stafford's (Johnson's division); Pegram's, Hays', Gordon's (Early's division). Battle's left and Steuart's right rested on the pike.

Slight works were at once thrown up and several partial attacks of the enemy repulsed. In a counter attack by Steuart's and Battle's brigades two 24-pounder howitzers, brought up the pike within 800 yards of our works, were captured. The troops were brought back to


Page 1070 OPERATIONS IN SE. VA. AND N. C. Chapter XLVIII.
OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 36, Part 1 (Wilderness-Cold Harbor)
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