War of the Rebellion: Serial 087 Page 0438 Chapter LIV. OPERATIONS IN SE. VA. AND N. C.

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formed with General Bragg's brigade in line of battle, right resting on the creek, Colonel Hofmann's brigade covering his the Maryland Brigade in reserve. In this way he began to advance about 12.30 with the right of companies to the front. The denseness of the woods and the crookedness of the run caused great delays in the movement, causing breaks in the line and changes of direction and requiring care to prevent confusion.

Finding there could be no guide to Crawford's movements other than sound, I directed General Griffin at 1 p. m. to open on the enemy with his skirmish line, to show us where to was, and to be ready to take advantage of any effect Crawford's operations might have. General Crawford continued his movement, losing a little time by mistaking the branch (witch comes in rear the Crow house) for the main run, and afterward having much difficulty in crossing it, on account of the fallen timber cut there by the enemy. After crossing this branch General Crawford began skirmish with the enemy, driving them to the north and west, and capturing a man of Cooke's brigade. About 4 a. [p.] m., I think, I visited him and found his just them on the right flank of the enemy's position fronting Griffin, and firing was quite livery. The crossing of the run was here very difficult naturally, and made more so by the trees cut into it, and the opposition of the enemy. As Crawford's line of march had now led him to quite a different position from what had been expected, and as he was in a dense forest of great extent, where it was difficult to find him, and as his men were getting lost in great numbers, in fact, whole regiments losing all idea of where to find the rest of the division, I ordered him to halt his line and get it in good order and press the enemy with his skirmishers, while I went to consult with General Meade, who I supposed was with General Hancock. When nearing the place of the latter, I was told by Major Riddle that General Meade had returned to the mill, and I proceeded to that point as rapidly as possible. Soon after reaching him we learned that the enemy had come in between General Hancock and General Crawford and attacked the former with great violence. The commanding, but he assenting to my suggestion that General Ayres could more readily be god there, I directed General Ayres to move at once. Darkness was so near at hand that General Ayres was halted at Armstrong's Mill. The attack on General Hancock must have occurred while I was near General Crawford and yet in the woods-the sound of the musketry did not reach us. There was beside no road known to us leading directly to General Hancock, and that woods for two or three miles was certain to prevent him arriving for any contemplated emergency. What would have added still greater delay to communicating with General Crawford supervened by the rebels getting in on the road by which we communicated between him and myself. The enemy became so bewildered in these woods that upward of 200 of them strayed into General Crawford's line and were captured. These men before being taken captured three of our ambulances a mile in rear of General Crawford. Sis of them captured Captain Cope, of my staff, but finding themselves in our lines gave up to him and brought them in. Major Bingham, of General Hancock's staff, on his way to General Crawford, was captured by them, but made his escape, and three officers of my staff, in attempting to avoid the road thus infested by the enemy, became lost in coming from General Crawford to me and had to stay out all night in the woods