Page:A memoir of the last year of the War of Independence, in the Confederate States of America.djvu/26

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BATTLES AROUND SPOTTSYLVANIA COURT HOUSE.

OPERATIONS OF HILL'S CORPS.

Hill's Corps was composed of Heth's, Wilcox's, and Mahone's (formerly Anderson's) divisions of infantry, and three battalions of artillery under Colonel Walker. When I look command of it, the infantry numbered about 13,000 muskets for duty.

General Lee's orders to me, were to move by Todd's tavern along the Brock Road to Spottsylvania Court House, as soon as our front was clear of the enemy. In order to get into that road, it was necessary to reopen an old one leading from Hill's right, by which I was enabled to take a cross road leading into the road from Shady Grove to Todd's tavern. The waggon trains and all the artillery, except one battalion, were sent around by Shady Grove. About a mile from the road from Shady Grove to Todd's tavern, the enemy's cavalry videttes were encountered, and Mahone's division was thrown forward to develope the enemy's force and position. Mahone encountered a force of infantry, which had moved up from Todd's tavern towards Shady Grove, and had quite a brisk engagement with it, causing it to fall back rapidly towards the form.er place. At the same time. General Hampton, who had communicated with me, after I left the Plank Road, moved with his cavalry on my right and struck

��happened it that he was enabled to get the advantage of position, after the two days fighting? He also says that General Lee was enabled to reach Spottsylvania Court House, first, because he had the shorter line. The fact is, that, as the two armies lay in their positions at the Wilderness, their lines were parallel to the road to Spottsylvania Court House. Grant had the possession of the direct road to that place, and lie had the start. General Lee had to move on the circuitous route by Shady Grove, and he was enabled to arrive there first with part of his infantry, because his cavalry held Grant's advance in check for nearly an entire day.

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