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in the trenches with his men. Rodes's right being still hard pressed, Harris's (Mississippi) and McGowan's (South Carolina) brigades were ordered forward and rushed through the blinding storm into the works on Ramseur's right. The Federals still held the greater part of the salient, and though the Confederates were unable to drive them out, they could get no farther. Hancock's corps, which had made the attack, had been reënforced by Upton's division of the Sixth Corps and one-half of Warren's corps, as the battle progressed. Artillery had been brought up on both sides, the Confederates using every piece that could be made available upon the salient. Before 10 o'clock General Lee had put in every man that could be spared for the restoration of his broken center. It then became a matter of endurance with the men themselves. All day long and until far into the night the battle raged with unceasing fury, in the space
MCCOOL'S IN 1884.
(FROM A WAR-TIME PHOTOGRAPH.)
sides, to relieve the pressure in the center. An attack upon Anderson's (Longstreet's) corps by Wright's Sixth Corps (Sedgwick having been killed on the 9th) was severely repulsed, while, on the other side of the salient, General Early, who was moving with a part of Hill's corps to strike the flank of the Federal force engaged there, met and defeated Burnside's corps, which was advancing at the same time to attack his own (Early's) works.
WHILE the battle was raging at the salient, a portion of Gordon's division was busily engaged in constructing a new and shorter line of intrenchments in rear of the old one, to which Ewell's corps retired before daylight on the 13th. The five days of comparative rest that followed the terrible battle of the 12th were never more welcome than to our wearied men, who had been marching and fighting almost without intermission since the 4th of
May. Their comfort was materially enhanced, too, by the supply of coffee, sugar, and other luxuries to which they had long been strangers, obtained from the haversacks of the enemy who had been killed in their front, or in the Federal lines when they were abandoned. It was astonishing into what close places a hungry Confederate would go to get something to eat. Men would sometimes go out under a severe fire, in the hope of finding a full haversack. It may seem a small matter to the readers of war history; but to the makers of it who were in the trenches, or on the march, or engaged in battle night and day for weeks without intermission, the supply of the one article of coffee, furnished by the Army of the Potomac to the Army of Northern Virginia, was not a small matter, but did as much as any other material agency to sustain the spirits and bodily energies of the men, in a campaign which taxed both to their utmost limit. Old haversacks gave place to better ones, and tin cups now dangled from the accouter
ments of the Confederates, who at every rest on the march or interval of quiet on the lines could be seen gathered around small fires, preparing the coveted beverage.
In the interval from the 12th to the 18th, our army was gradually moving east to meet corresponding movements on the other side. Longstreet's corps was shifted from the left to the extreme right, beyond the Fredericksburg road. Ewell's corps still held the works in rear of the famous salient, when on the morning of the 18th a last effort was made to force the lines of Spotsylvania at the only point where previous efforts had met with even partial success. This was destined to a more signal failure than any of the others. Under the fire of thirty pieces of artillery, which swept all the approaches to Ewell's line, the attacking force was broken and driven back in disorder before it came well within reach of the muskets of the infantry. After the failure of this attack, the "sidling" movement, as the men expressed it, again began, and on the
afternoon of the 19th Ewell's corps was thrown round the Federal left wing to ascertain the extent of this movement. After a severe engagement, which lasted until night, Ewell withdrew, having lost about nine hundred men in the action. This seemed a heavy price to pay for information that might have been otherwise obtained, but the enemy had suffered more severely, and General Grant was delayed in his
CONFEDERATE TRENCHES AT CHESTERFIELD BRIDGE ON THE NORTH ANNA, HALF A MILE ABOVE THE RAILROAD BRIDGE. (SEE MAP, PREVIOUS PAGE.) FROM A WAR-TIME PHOTOGRAPH.
turning movement for twenty-four hours. He, however, got the start in the race for the North Anna: Hancock's corps, leading off on the night of the 20th, was followed rapidly by the remainder of his army.
THE RACE FOR THE NORTH ANNA.
ON the morning of the 21st Ewell's corps moved from the left to the right of our line, and later on the same day it was pushed southward on the Telegraph road, closely followed by Longstreet's corps.* A. P. Hill brought up the rear that night, after a sharp "brush" with the Sixth Corps, which was in the act of retiring from its lines. Lee had the inside track this time, as the Telegraph road on which he moved was the direct route, while Grant had to swing round on the arc of a circle of which this was the chord. About noon on the 22d the head of our column reached the North Anna, and that night Lee's army lay on the south side of the river. We had won the second heat and secured a good night's rest besides, when the Federal army appeared on the other side in the forenoon of the 23d.
* Swinton and others state that Longstreet moved on the night of the 20th, followed by Ewell. This is an error.-E. M. L.
Warren's corps crossed the river that afternoon without opposition at Jericho Ford, four miles above the Chesterfield bridge on the Telegraph road; but as it moved out from the river it was met by Wilcox's division of Hill's corps, and a severe but indecisive engagement ensued, the lines confronting each other intrenching as usual. Meanwhile a small earthwork, that had been built the year before, covering the approaches to the bridge on the Telegraph road and now held by a small detachment from Kershaw's division, was at tacked and carried by troops of Hancock's corps, the Confederates retiring across the river with the loss of a few prisoners.
It did not seem to be General Lee's purpose to offer any serious resistance to Grant's passage of the river at the points selected. His lines had been retired from it at both these points, but touched it at Ox Ford, a point intermediate between them. Hancock's corps, having secured the Chesterfield bridge, crossed over on the morning of the 24th, and, extending down the river, moved out until it came upon Longstreet's and Ewell's corps in position and ready for battle. The Sixth Corps (General Wright) crossed at Jericho Ford and joined Warren. The two wings of Grant's army were safely across the river, but there was no connection between them.
ment from Warren's corps was sent down on the south side to help Burnside across, but it was attacked by Mahone's division, and driven back with heavy loss, narrowly escaping capture. General Grant found himself in what may be called a military dilemma. He had cut his army in two by running it upon the point of a wedge. He could not break the point, which rested upon the river, and the attempt to force it out of place by striking on its sides must of necessity be made without much concert of action between the two wings of his army, neither of which could reënforce the other without crossing the river twice; while his opponent could readily transfer his troops as needed, from one wing to the other, across the narrow space between them.
The next two days were consumed by General Grant in fruitless attempts to find a vulnerable point in our lines. The skirmishers were very active, often forcing their way close up to our works. The line of my brigade crossed the Richmond and Fredericksburg railroad. It was an exposed point, and the men stationed there, after building their log breastwork, leant their muskets against it and moved out on one side, to avoid the constant fire that was directed upon it. As I was passing that point on one occasion, the men called to me," Stoop!" At the same moment I received a more forcible admonition from the whiz of a minie-ball, close to my head.
of me. He soon appeared, rising cautiously behind his earthwork, and we both fired at the same moment, neither shot taking effect. This time my friend didn't "hedge," but commenced reloading rapidly, thinking, I suppose, that I would have to do the same. But he was mistaken; for, taking up another musket, I fired at once, with a result equally surprising to both of us, he probably at my being able to load so quickly, and I at hitting the mark. He was found there wounded, shortly afterward, when my skirmishers were pushed forward. It was my first and only duel, and justifiable, I think, under the circumstances.
On the morning of May 27th General Grant's army had disappeared from our front. During the night it had" folded its tents like the Arab and as quietly stolen away," on its fourth turning movement since the opening of the campaign. The Army of the Potomac was already on its march for the Pamunkey River at Hanovertown, where the leading corps crossed on the morning ofthe 27th. Lee moved at once to head off his adversary, whose advance column was now eight miles nearer Richmond than he was. In the afternoon of the 28th, after one of the severest cavalry engagements of the war, in which Hampton and Fitz Lee opposed the advance of Sheridan at Hawes's Shop, the infantry of both armies came up and again confronted each other along the Totopotomoy, a small creek flowing into the