War of the Rebellion: Serial 072 Page 0193 Chapter L. REPORTS, ETC.-ARMY OF THE CUMBERLAND.

Search Civil War Official Records

Hickory and Dallas road, as the enemy had been met by General Hooker's advance in considerable force. This corps was marched as rapidly as possible, its head of column reaching Pumpkin Vine Creek just as General Williams' division, of the Twentieth Corps, was passing. At 5.15 p. m. General Newton's head of column arrived and his troops were placed in position in rear of General Hooker's troops that were already forming, or formed for an advance. The rest of the corps was marched up as rapidly as possible and moved on the right and left of the road. At 5.30 p. m. General Hooker's command moved forward, as I understood, with instructions to carry the cross-roads at New Hope Church, supposed to be not more than a mile distant. I was directed to hold my command ready to move forward. At 6.20 p. m. General Hooker sent me word by a staff officer that he had driven the enemy behind his breastworks; that he was holding his ground but was hard pressed, and requested me to send up a column of brigades on the right-hand side of the road. I commenced the march instantly with that formation, but, finding that I was losing time, owing to the obstructions and difficulties of the ground, I directed the troops to march by the flank along the road as quickly as possible until they approached General Hooker's position. Here I saw General Hooker himself, who requested me to form on the left of the road. Newton deployed his command as fast as he could, but by the time this was effected it was completely dark. The other divisions, following General Newton's, were encamped for the night on the right and left of the road, it being too late to locate them otherwise in the thick woods.

I have been thus particular on this point because criticisms have been offered like this, "that had the Fourth corps come up on General Hooker's left the enemy would have been completely driven from his strong position at New Hope Church, and thus saved the army the long and fatiguing operations which succeeded General Hooker's assault." I do not doubt the truth of the allegation, but the facts are, first, that my head of column only had arrived at General Hooker's first position when his attacking movement commenced second, that I was directed to hold myself and readiness to move forward if ordered; third, that I did so move forward as promptly as possible the moment I received word I was needed, but arrived too late to partake in the engagement.

May 26, General Newton's line was relocated so as to form a better connection with General Hooker. General Stanely filled a gap on Newton's right with two or three regiments, the rest of his division in reserve. General Wood gradually developed his line on Newton's left, driving in the enemy's skirmishers, crossing Brown's Mill creek with his main force, and securing an important hill, then apparently opposite the enemy's right flank. These lines were found subsequently at different points to be within 100 yards of the enemy's intrenchments, hence the firing of skirmishers, or from main line to main line, was constant and cost us many men. Our lines were thoroughly intrenched as soon as possible, and every battery that cold be brought to bear upon the enemy was placed in position and covered by good works.

May 27, General Stanely moved to the left of General newton and relieved General Wood's division preparatory to the latter making an assault on the enemy's line at a point which Major-General Sher-

13 R R-VOL XXXVIII, PT I