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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 1072 OPERATIONS IN SE. VA. AND N. C. Chapter XLVIII.

skirmishers with Hill's (Early's) left. A second line from Rodes' left center to Hill's left, cutting off the salient, was laid out by the chief engineer and built and occupied by Gordon's division. Heavy skirmishing took place. General Hays was severely wounded. May 10, the enemy's batteries getting an enfilade and reverse fire on Gordon's line, he was withdrawn and placed in rear of Rodes' left and Anderson's right (Kershaw's division), where an attack was expected. About 4 p.m. I learned that General Doles' skirmishers were driven into his works. He was ordered to regain his skirmish line at any cost, but while preparing to do so his lines were attacked and broken, he losing 300 prisoners. The right of Daniel's brigade was exposed and fell back to the second line already mentioned. Battle's brigade and Gordon's division were rapidly brought up, and the former thrown across the head of the enemy's column, while the leading brigade (R. D. Johnston's) of the latter, with them remnants of Doles' and the right of Daniel's brigades, struck them on one flank, and the Stonewall (Walker's), of Johnson's division, on the other. In a short time the enemy was driven from our works, leaving 100 dead within them and a large number in front.

Our loss, as near as I can tell, was 650, of whom 350 were prisoners. Captain Thomas T. Turner, my aide-de-camp, was very efficient in rallying the fugitives, and was severely wounded while assisting in recapturing several pieces of artillery of which the enemy had got temporary possession.

Wednesday, May 11, it rained hard all day and no fighting took place. Toward night the enemy were reported withdrawing from Anderson's front and were heard moving to our right. Scouts stated them to be retiring to Fredericksburg. I received orders to withdraw the artillery, which was done along Johnson's front. Soon after midnight Major-General Johnson reported the enemy massing before him, and General Long was directed to return the artillery to the entrenchments, and General Gordon ordered to be ready to support Johnson. Different artillery was sent back, and owing to the darkness and to ignorance of the location it only reached the lines in time to be taken. The enemy attacked in heavy force at earliest dawn, and though gallantly resisted, their numbers and the want of artillery enabled them to break through our lines, capturing Major General Edward Johnson, Brigadier General G. H. Steuart, about 2,000 men and 20 pieces of artillery. The smoke of the guns and the mist kept the air dark until a comparatively late hour, thereby assisting the enemy, as he was enabled to mass his troops as he chose. They poured through our lines in immense numbers, taking possession to the right and left of the Salient and keeping up a constant fire of artillery and musketry for twenty-four hours.

General Gordon was heavily engaged-one brigade broken, and its commander (Robert D. Johnston) wounded, but he held his ground, drove out the enemy in his immediate front by a strong effort, and regained a portion of our works to the right of the Salient. Their main effort was evidently against Rodes' position to the left of the Angle, and here the fighting was of the most desperate character. General Rodes moved Daniel's brigade from its works to meet the enemy. General Kershaw extended so as to allow Ramseur to be withdrawn, and as Daniel's right was unprotected Ramseur was sent in there. He retook the works to Daniel's right along his whole brigade front by a charge of unsurpassed gallantry, but the Salient was still held by the enemy, and a most


Page 1072 OPERATIONS IN SE. VA. AND N. C. Chapter XLVIII.
OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 36, Part 1 (Wilderness-Cold Harbor)
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