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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 489 Chapter XLVIII. RAPIDAN TO THE JAMES.

ever he could find him, and whip him." Saying this, he spurred his horse, faced his men to the left, and moved around my left flank, and advanced in my front, and soon engaged the enemy. But a very little firing took place until some of his men came back running, and in a few minutes a verbal message came for me to relieve him. This I declined to do, as my orders were to advance with this line. A few minutes more and all his troops came running back. I had my men stop them, and refused to let them through. Colonel Frank said to me, "I want to get ammunition." I asked him "where?" He replied "Away back in the rear." I informed him that mules loaded with ammunition, which could be had in a few minutes. At this Colonel Frank's command through, as I supposed, to get the ammunition. This is the last I saw of him or his command. This was near 9 a. m.

All now became quiet, the pickets ceased firing, and my men laid down. I took an orderly with me and went through the picket-line to reconnoiter. By crawling along from tree to tree in front I discovered a ravine; parallel with it lay a number of very large trees; behind these trees and in the ravine were the enemy's pickets; a short distance in rear of the enemy's pickets was a railroad cut, ad on the left across a ravine was an embankment; there was the position of the enemy. After taking a careful survey of it, I came back and sent an aide to report the fact to General Mott, commanding division.

About 11.30 a. m. I heard firing on my left and rear. I soon discovered we were flanked. I immediately ordered a change of front to meet it; ordered Colonel Sewell to "change front on the night company, right regiment," which he did. I then ordered "about face, left half wheel by regiments." The line was soon formed, facing the enemy, when General Mott and staff came up and was informed of the difficulty. At this time some troops (but did not know what they were) were engaging the enemy in my front; a few moments more they gave way and I received the fire of the enemy. Held the enemy in front and delivered volley after volley into their ranks, but I soon discovered that they had flanked my left and were receiving a fire in my front, on my left flank, and rear. Here my horse was mortally wounded by two or three rifle-balls, but still able to move slowly. At this time my line broke in confusion, and I could not rally then short of the breast-works. Sick myself, and unable to walk, I urged my wounded horse slowly along before the enemy's advancing line and reached the breast-works in safety. There changed horses and reformed my brigade. My staff was very active and soon had then formed, as ordered, behind the second line of beast-works, my right resting near General Ward's brigade, the interval being filled up by a few stragglers that were between the two brigades.

My instructions to my men were that they must hold this line under any circumstances and at all hazards. Soon the enemy's column charged the front line and the battle raged furiously. Myself and staff rode along my line to prevent our men from breaking if the front line should give way. The first line gave way and we received the shock of battle. My brigade poured volley after volley and held the enemy in check so they could not hold the first line of


Page 489 Chapter XLVIII. RAPIDAN TO THE JAMES.
OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 36, Part 1 (Wilderness-Cold Harbor)
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