Today in History:

191 Series I Volume XXXVI-I Serial 67 - Wilderness-Cold Harbor Part I


movement toward Spotsylvania Court-Housse, the army was put in motion on that night, the Fifth Corps, preceded by the cavalry, moving on the Brock road, followed by the Second and the Sixth Corps on the Orange plank and turnpike, preceded by the trains and followed by the Ninth Corps. In order to clear the roads it was necessary to move the trains by daylight, which undoubtedly gave notice to the enemy; for early on the 8th of May Warren met Longstreet's corps on the Brock road, near the crossing of the Po River, prepared to dispute the passage. Warren immediately attacked with Robinson's division, that gallant officer being severely wounded early in the action, pushing the enemy back and taking position in front of him near the Block house. The Sixth Corps was ordered up to take position on Warren's left, and the Second Corps posted at Todd's Tavern. All the corps were engaged at different times during the day, Miles' brigade, Second Corps, repulsing and driving a brigade of the enemy who attacked him at Corbin's Bridge. Wilson's division of cavalry succeeded in getting into Spotsylvania Court-House, but it being impossible to get the infantry up to support him, he had to withdraw.

On the 9th of May the Fifth and Sixth Corps continued pressing the enemy, developing his position, and seeking for points to assault. During these operations the distinguished and beloved Major-General Sedgwick, commanding Sixth Corps, fell, and Brigadier-General Morris, of the same corps, was wounded. Early in the day two divisions of the Ninth Corps had been moved to the Fredericksburg road, and, finding the enemy on it, had handsomely driven him across the Ny, losing on the 10th the distinguished Brigadier-General Stevenson.

In the evening the Second Corps moved up from Todd's Tavern, taking position on the right of the Fifth Corps, and sending Mott's division to the left of the Sixth Corps. On this day, the 9th of May, Sheridan, with the Cavalry Corps, moved southerly, with orders to engage the enemy's cavalry, and after cutting the Fredericksburg and Central railroads to threaten Richmond, and eventually communicate with and draw supplies from the forces on the James River.

On May 10 the enemy was pressed along his whole front. Early in the morning Gibbon's and Barlow's divisions, Second Corps, were crossed over the Ny, with the view of turning the enemy's left flank. He was found, however, so strongly posted and guarded by the Ny, that these divisions were withdrawn. Barlow, being in rear, was vigorously attacked by Heth's division, whom he handsomely repulsed, but in retiring was compelled to abandon a piece of artillery that became jammed in some trees in a narrow road. On the withdrawal of Gibbon, he, together with Birney, in conjunction with the Fifth Corps, assaulted unsuccessfully the enemy's line. During this operation Brigadier-General Rice, of the Fifth Corps, ever distinguished for personal gallantry, fell mortally wounded. Late in the evening Upton's brigade, Sixth Corps, assaulted and successfully carried the enemy's line in his front, capturing guns and 900 prisoners, but, not being supported by Mott on his left, Upton was compelled to withdraw after dark, abandoning the guns. Mott succeeded in forming connection with the Ninth Corps, which had moved up to his left from the Fredericksburg road.

On the 11th, finding the enemy's left so well guarded, arrangements were made to attack his center at a salient point. For his