Today in History:

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


purpose Wright was directed to extend his left, concentrate on that wing, and be prepared to assault. Hancock, with the Second Corps, was to move during the night to the left of Wright, and assault the salient at daylight. Warren was also to make an assault to keep the enemy in his lines, and Burnside, with the Ninth Corps, was ordered to assault on the extreme left.

At daylight of the 12th, Second Corps gallantly assaulted and carried the salient, capturing Major-General Johnson and Brigadier-General Steuart of the Confederate army, with over 3,000 prisoners, 20 guns, and numerous colors. Hancock immediately reformed his command, and was advancing to the enemy's second line, when he was attacked furiously by the enemy, who desperately endeavored all day to recover his lost position and guns. In this affair Brigadier General A. S. Webb was severely wounded. Wright, with the Sixth Corps, on Hancock's right, sustained his share of this battle - one of the bloodiest of the campaign. In view of the great exertions of the enemy, Warren, after failing to succeed in his assault on the right, was moved to the left to the support of Wright and Hancock. Burnside assaulted on Hancock's left, but without any other decisive results than keeping occupied a large force of the enemy.

On the 13th, it was ascertained that the enemy, failing to recover his lost ground, had retired to an inner and shorter line. Having fully settled this fact by reconnaissances, dispositing were made to turn his right flank. During the night of the 13th, the Fifth, followed by the Sixth Corps, was moved over to the Fredericksburg road. the 14th of May was occupied in placing these two corps in position. The enemy was found very strongly posted on the Fredericksburg road in front of the Court-House, and it was deemed inexpedient to attack at this point. During this day Upton's brigade, Sixth Corps, was attacked and compelled to retire from an advanced position it held, but the ground was immediately retaken by Ayres' brigade, Fifth Corps, in conjunction with supports from Neill's division, Sixth Corps.

From the 15th to the 17th of May the army was employed in constant reconnoitering and skirmishing, developing the enemy's position and learning the ground; also in establishing a base at Aquia Creek, sending the sick and wounded there, and drawing therefrom necessary supplies. On the 19th, the Second and Ninth Corps were moved to the left, the former in reserve, the latter taking post on the left of the Sixth. Ewell's corps of the enemy attempted in the afternoon to turn our right and get possession of the Fredericksburg road. His attack was gallantly met by a division of heavy artillery, new troops, under Brigadier General R. O. Tyler, who, being re-enforced by Crawford, of the Fifth, and Birney, of the Second, promptly repulsed and drove Ewell back, inflicting heavy losses on him. Some of Ewell's forces, pushing to the rear on the Fredericksburg road, met Ferrero's division (colored troops) by whom they were checked and repulsed.

On the 20th of May the Second Corps, with a small force of cavalry, under Brigadier-General Torbert, were pushed through Bowling Green to Milford. Tobert had a handsome affair with some of the enemy's infantry, who disputed his passage of the bridge at Milford. Torbert carried the bridge and drove the enemy, capturing over 100 prisoners. May 21, 22, and 23 were employed in moving the army from Spotsylvania Court-House to the North Anna River. In this movement the Sixth Corps was the rear guard,