Artillery Work at Wilderness. 343
THE BREACH IN THE CONFEDERATE LINE AND THE ARTILLERY
ON MAY I2TH.
The morning of the I2th of May the enemy broke through our line on my right, capturing General Edward Johnson and nearly all of his division. The artillery, consisting of Nelson's and Braxton's battalions, had been ordered off his line the night previous, but General Johnson, fearing that the enemy were massing in front, in- stead of leaving, ordered them back. As they were getting into position, the enemy broke through and captured them; also all of Cutshaw's battalion, except my battery, which was further to the left. I was ordered by General Rodes to move my guns by hand -to rear to fire to the right. As Johnson'^ men were coming back, I was ordered to elevate my guns and fire over them, which I did.
AGAIN MANNING RECAPTURED GUNS.
Later in the day a courier from General Long came and informed me that he wanted some artillerists to go and mann some of our re- captured guns near the "Bloody Angle." As I did not happen to be engaged just then, I ordered my first lieutenant to take charge of my battery and I took my second lieutenant and about half of my men and fought those recaptured guns until late in the evening, when I returned to my battery and soon went into camp.
THE ARTILLERY'S OUTING ON THE i8TH MAY, 1864.
The next engagement we had was on the i8th, when, with twenty- five or thirty guns in line, composed of Nelson's, Braxton's and Cutshaw's battalions, a short distance to the right of the "Bloody Angle," the enemy charged us with their lines of battle, but we poured into them such a destructive fire of shot and shell that they were forced to retire with heavy loss, and gave up the fight. This ended the fighting at Spotsylvania.
I have never heard of but one opinion expressed that if our artil- lery had been in position on General Edward Johnson's line, the enemy would never have been able to break through, but would have been hurled back with heavy loss. It was a great mistake and misfortune that they did not get back in time.
A. W. GARBER.