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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 1071 Chapter XLVIII. RAPIDAN TO THE JAMES.

the works after posting skirmishers to hold the captured pieces till dark, when they were brought off. General Stafford was mortally wounded in a similar attack by his own and the Stonewall brigade late in the afternoon. The fighting closed at dusk with the repulse of a fierce attack on Pegram's brigade. General Pegram was severely wounded, and Colonel Hoffham (Thirty-first Virginia) succeeded to the command. This evening General Ramseur came up with the picket regiments, which rejoined their brigades. Ramseur went to the extreme right of my line next morning.

The 6th of May was occupied in partial assaults on my line (now greatly strengthened) and in efforts to find my flank, which were promptly checked. About 9 a.m. I got word from General Gordon, through General Early in person, that his scouts reported the enemy's right exposed, and he urged turning it, but his views were opposed by General Early, who thought the attempt unsafe. This necessitated a personal examination, which was made as soon as other duties permitted, but in consequence of this delay and other unavoidable causes the movement was not begun until nearly sunset. After examination I ordered the attack, and placed Robert D. Johnston's brigade, of Rodes' division (that morning arrived from Hanover Junction), to support Gordon. Each brigade as its front was cleared was to unite in the attack. Hays was partly moved out of his works to connect with Gordon. The latter attacked vehemently, and when checked by the darkness had captured, with slight loss, a mile of the works held by the Sixth Corps, 600 prisoners, and 2 brigadier-generals-Seymour and Shaler. Of the force encountered not an organized regiment remained and nearly all had thrown away their arms. They made no attempt to recover the lost ground, but threw back their line, so as to give up Germanna Ford entirely. Major Daniel, of General Early's staff, joined in Gordon's attack and was desperately wounded and maimed for life while gallantly assisting in this brilliant movement. On May 7 no fighting took place except that in extending to join General Hill's left, General Ramseur came upon a division of the Ninth Corps entrenching. This he put to flight by a sudden attack of his skirmishers, capturing several hundred piled knapsacks and occupying the ground. On the night of the 7th the general commanding sent me word to extend to the right, in conformity to the movements of the troops there, and if at daylight I found no large force in my front to follow General Anderson toward Spotsylvania Court-House. This was done. On the march orders were received placing General Early in command of Hill's corps,, transferring Hays' brigade to Johnson's division, and consolidating both Louisiana brigades, under General Hays, and assigning R. D. Johnston's brigade to Early's division, of which General Gordon came in command. After a very distressing march through intense heat and thick dust and smoke from burning woods, my troops reached Spotsylvania Court-House about 5 p.m., just in time for Rodes to repel an attempt to turn Anderson's right, which rested on the

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road. Rodes advanced nearly half a mile, when his left, coming upon strong works, was checked and he was forced to halt. Johnson's division formed on his right. Gordon remained in reserve. On the 9th the lines were defined and entrenched. There were two salient-one at Rodes' right brigade (General Doles'), the other at Johnson's center, where I occupied a high open point-which if held by the enemy would enable their artillery to command our line. Johnson's right was connected by


Page 1071 Chapter XLVIII. RAPIDAN TO THE JAMES.
OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 36, Part 1 (Wilderness-Cold Harbor)
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