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battle parallel with the road, lay, at the moment of the advance, transversely in the rear of Perrin's left. Right and left

of the plank-road the Confederates began to move forward. Kershaw, Benning, and Perrin, finding the enemy, pushed onward, freely swinging around their left somewhat adventurously into the unknown depths of the forest through which they moved.

In the mean time Federal skirmishers springing from tree to tree as they came on with a heavy fire, drove in those of Perry and Law. Followed in hot haste by a blue line of battle, the whole pressed back the brigades of those officers with great spirit towards the plank-road. Alarmed by the firing going on during that movement in the rear of his left, Perrin sent his adjutant, Captain Wynne, to communicate on the subject with General Harris. That gallant fellow, seeing that no time was to be lost, rushed with his impetuous Mississippians on the face of the advancing attack and succeeded in driving it back handsomely for a sufficient distance to give protection to the rear of Kershaw and Benning. Perrin-on the extreme left, be it recollected-stood still, exposed to imminent danger.

As the whole breadth of the line from the plank-way retired, he endeavored at the same time to swing back his exposed wing, but found it suddenly enfiladed by the fire of the enemy's skirmishers. His position became critical. Captain Wynne led off two regiments from the exposed flank; and had placed them in position in the rear just as Davis's fine brigade of Mississippians came sweeping up to complete, by connecting with Harris's right, the protection of the whole transverse front, Harris and Davis having thus saved, by a timely movement, the three brigades on the left, the artillery trains, &c., on that highway, and the line of the plank-road. The enemy foiled in his design fell back, after a brief encounter, from their front. The symmetry of the Confederate line was restored, subsequently in the day, by the disposition of Hill's whole corps on Longstreet's right.

The forward movement progressed on the right of the plankroad while events were thus threatening it on the left. Longstreet's men on that part of the field moved forward, went on for some distance without finding the enemy, until S. T. Anderson's brigade of Georgians coming on, an array of battle in

Federal blue rushed at it with such impetuosity as to have become almost immediately master of the fieldworks. The single line of this attack was, however, too weak to hold what it had so handsomely won; and having been, as is too often the case in those apparently ill-advised charges of the Confederates, unsupported, was compelled, by the concentration of a crushing force in its front, to retire.

The work of war on the right was done. So alarming had been the aspect of the field at one time that, fearing for the constancy of his troops, General Lee had, as Fields' division came under fire, placed himself at the head of Greggs' brigade of Texans. Ordering them, in that devotion which constitutes the great charm of his character, to follow him in a charge upon the triumphant line that came sweeping down upon him over the debris of Heth's and Wilcox's divisions, Longstreet protested against such an exposure of a life so valuable. A grim and ragged soldier of the line raised his voice in determined remonstrance, and was immediately followed by the rank and file of the whole brigade in positive refusal to advance until their beloved general-in-chief had gone to his. proper position in the rear. Yielding to their touching solicitude, and thus terminating one of the most remarkable incidents in the war, General Lee retired, and well did Gregg's gallant fellows fulfil the promise by which they urged his withdrawal, by rushing wildly forward through a tempest of bullets with a fury which nothing could withstand. All the ground that had been lost was recovered, the enemy driven, routed, into his intrenchments, the Confederate lines advanced threateningly so far as to hem him closely in, and thus, almost hopeless as its fortunes at one time appeared to be, the second day of the battle of the Wilderness terminated around the Southern Cross of the right wing in bloody triumph.

The 6th of May opened on Ewell's front with Rodes' division on the right of the turnpike, Johnson's on the other side of that road, and Early's still to the left. In the morning a column of attack came up in front of Pegram's brigade, and of part of Johnson's division; and attempting to force its way, pressed that part of the line heavily. Reinforced by a few regiments from Gordon's brigade, the Confederates, with un

flinching solidity, hurled the onslaught back, mangled and bleeding. Again, however, and yet again, the obstinate masses renewed their advance, until, the line of their movement strewed thickly with the evidences of the terrors in their way, they finally shrank from an encounter that had proved so disastrous.

The battle on the left appeared, after the repulse of the morning, to hang fire. Direct advance so sternly repelled, the enemy determined to make a movement on Ewell's flank. Wilcox's division having been withdrawn the day before for the support of Heth, the two wings of Lee's army continued still unconnected; and through the space thus open Burnside moved a force at about two o'clock, with the view of crushing our line from right to left. Ewell, who is gifted with the instincts of a military genius, stood, however, prepared at all points. As the flanking force of the enemy came up, moving perpendicularly to Rodes' line of battle, a battalion of sharpshooters, from Ramsaur's brigade of North Carolinians, following their bold commander, Major Osborne, had the audacity to charge a whole division of the Federal army. A whole division of the Federal army advancing on that handful of men, fled before Osborne's fellows at the top of their speed, leaving behind it in its flight all its knapsacks, and as many as fifteen hundred of its muskets. Burnside's movement against Ewell's right flank, thus defeated by an amusing boldness, a repetition of such an enterprise was prevented by an immediate junction with the line of battle that had just been restored on the right wing.

The extreme left was held by the Georgians of General Gordon. Our line at that part of the field extended beyond the enemy's right for the width of a brigade-front. Gordon, anxious to employ this advantage, urged that he be allowed to use it for a moment against the Federal flank. Ewell and Early yielding to his repeated representations, finally gave him the order to move. The sun was, however, at that instant, about to set; and but a limited time remained, therefore, for the execution of an enterprise so important. But Gordon's men moved briskly out of their works; and, forming at right angles to their previous position, moved forward in line of battle, supported by R. D. Johnston's brigade of North Carolinians. In

complete surprises they struck the enemy's flank; and crushing his array as they swept forward majestically, drove everything before them like chaff before the wind. Brigade after brigade fled from the Federal works, and, attempting, one after another, to wheel around into line in order to check the advance, was borne back under the rapidity of Gordon's movement before the seething mass that struggled down upon it in

utter rout.

Gordon swept all before him for a distance along the enemy's line of two miles. The forest through which he advanced was so dense with undergrowth, that by the setting in of nightfall he had become separated from his supports. Pegram's brigade paused, however, after nightfall, upon his left. He paused before he had completed a movement that, if undertaken earlier in the day, would have completely routed at least the Federal right. The enterprise, notwithstanding its incompleteness, was crowned with brilliant success. The Confederate loss in that service numbered, in killed and wounded, but twenty-seven. To the enemy, the results involved terrible slaughter. Four hundred Federalists were buried next day in the ground over which that admirable movement had been made.

The field for two miles in extent was strewn with trophies, flung wildly away-knapsacks, blankets, cartouche-boxes, cooking utensils, and even large supplies of abandoned rations. The route was one of indescribable panic. The woods in front were alive with masses of men struggling to escape with life. The Sixth corps of the Army of the Potomac was so completely broken up that, unable to restore its spirit, Gordon bivouacked for the night in its immediate front, in undisturbed repose. A brilliant stroke thus closed on Ewell's front the second day of the battle of the Wilderness in a crowning triumph.

Victory smiled during the night of the 6th of May on the warriors that lay sleeping, from right to left, behind Lee's works. The losses of the Confederates in killed, wounded, and missing, do not exceed, for the two days, six thousand.

The results to the enemy in some parts of the field cannot be described by any word less forcible than massacre. Eleven hundred and twenty-five Federal dead were buried in front of

Ewell's line lying to the left of the turnpike. Five hundred more were buried on the right of that road; and, in addition to about one hundred dead officers, whose bodies must have been removed, the number of corpses lying on the field, within range of the enemy's sharpshooters, is estimated at fully three hundred. The Federal killed in the struggle on the right may, therefore, be declared positively, to number as many as two thousand. I have no data on which to estimate the breadth of the slaughter in the fierce conflicts of the right; but from the stubbornness and volume of these, feel quite confident that they must have added to the slain as awful an account as that rendered in front of Ewell. With three thousand prisoners and four thousand dead, the usual proportion of six or seven to one for the wounded, would show that the losses of Grant in the battle of the Wilderness, cannot have been less than thirty thousand men.

General Lee in attempting to lead Gregg's Texans into the jaws of death, has given history a striking proof of the attachment of his troops to his person. The world did not, however, want any evidence of his own devotion; and can hardly fail to pronounce judgment against his course on that occasion as one of rashness. His exposure during the present campaign has been so unusual, and apparently so unnecessary, as to have impressed his troops with profound concern. The explosion of a shell under his own horse, the killing of the horse of his Adjutant General, Lieutenant-colonel Taylor, and the wounding of another officer attached to his person, Lieutenant-colonel Marshall, have had the depressing effect of a deep anxiety on the morale of his army. The President, sharing the general apprehension in and out of the field for the safety of General Lee, has, I am glad to say, written to him a touching letter of remonstrance. The relations, private and public, of the two men, will, no doubt, give great weight to that protest, notwithstanding it comes from a man who, though charged in a struggle for all that is dear to a freeman with the fate of millions, had, under an error of his own devotion, but just returned from alarming exposure to the terrible missiles that screamed, and burst, and crashed in thunder-claps around Drury's Bluff.

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