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

troops guarding the bridge. At 7 o'clock orders were received from Lieutenant-General Grant to report with my division to Major-General Sedgwick, Commanding Sixth Corps. Upon reporting to General Sedgwick I received orders from him to pass along a road which would be indicated by a guide, and to attack and press the enemy with all dispatch. While marching to execute this order two regiments at Germanna Ford to guard the bridge; place one brigade on the road at Beale's house, and the rest of the division on the first road on the right after leaving the second line of works. This disposition of the division was about to be made when an order was received from Lieutenant-General Grant to relieve Colonel Marshall's (Provisional) brigade, and the heavy artillery regiments guarding the roads leading to the Jacobs' Ferry road, leaving enough troops to guard the bridge and trains, and to move the latter to the south side of the river and part them. This order was at once carried into effect, and the ground covered from the right of the Sixth Corps to the Rapidan. The division remained in this position, when, at 8.30 p.m., word was received from Lieutenant-General Grant that the Sixth Corps had been forced back from its position, and that there was every probability that before morning the enemy would intervene between this division and the balance of the army, and that if I should learn such to be the case to move at once across Germanna Ford and down the river to Ely's Ford, there cross to the south side, and there remain with the wagon train until I received further orders. At 9.30 p.m. I received an order from Lieutenant-General Grant to move my troops, with everything at the river, up the plank road to near his headquarters. Should I do not start before the enemy intervened, then go by Ely's Ford to Chancellorsville. Deeming it impossible to move everything with the necessary dispatch up the plank road, I ordered all the trains and the Third New Jersey Cavalry to cross the river and proceed to Ely's Ford, and there recross and proceed to Chancellorsville. I then drew in my pickets, and with my infantry and the Second Ohio Cavalry moved up the plank road toward Lieutenant-General Grant's headquarters. Owing to the large space of ground covered by my division and the long distance the regiments were separated from each other, it was necessarily some time before the division could be collected together, and it was nearly 6 o'clock when the division moved up the plank road, the skirmishers of the enemy appearing on the right flank and rear of my column as we advanced, but without doing us any harm or affecting the morale of my division. Upon reporting to Lieutenant-General Grant, I received orders from him to move my colored troops alone to Dowdall's Tavern and Chancellorsville, a brigade at each place to cover the trains of the army then assembling between those two points, to inform Major-General Burnside of the receipt of this order, and as we arrived at Dowdall's to report to Major-General Sheridan, commanding cavalry, for further orders. In compliance with orders from Major-General Sheridan, I placed one brigade and a section of the Third Vermont Battery at the head of the Furnace road and one brigade on the Ely's Ford road. On the 9th instant, in compliance with orders received, I relieved the troops guarding the plank road, looking toward Old Wilderness Tavern. This disposition of my division covered the extreme right of this army, extending from Todd's Tavern to Banks' Ford. The Fifth New York, Third New Jersey, and Second Ohio Cavalry, having reported


Page 988 OPERATIONS IN SE. VA. AND N.C. Chapter XLVIII.
OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 36, Part 1 (Wilderness-Cold Harbor)
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