Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 06.djvu/83

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been validated.
73
"Four Years with General Lee."

driven on to it before it should form. Less than a brigade of Kershaw had filed into the woods when Longstreet appeared on the field. I pointed out to him where General Lee could be found; he was within two hundred yards of us. My division was not forced back upon Kershaw; the enemy halted some three hundred yards short, and it was not until after 9 A. M., according to Swinton, page 431, that Hancock renewed the advance. He says over two hours were in this manner lost, leaving Longstreet ample time to form line of battle.

Page 130. Spotsylvania Courthouse.—"Upon an examination of the lines, General Lee had detected the weakness of that portion known as 'the salient,' to the right of the point assailed on the 10th, to which I have just alluded, and occupied by the division of General Edward Johnson (Ewell's corps), and had directed a second line to be constructed across its base, to which he purposed to move back the troops occupying the angle. These arrangements were not quite completed when he thought he saw cause to suspect another flank movement by General Grant; and, on the night of the 11th, ordered most of the artillery at this portion of the line to be withdrawn, so as to be available to take part in the counter-movement. Towards the dawn of day on the 12th, General Johnson discovered indications of an impending assault upon his front. He sent immediate orders for the return of the artillery, and caused other preparations for defence to be made," &c., &c. In rear of the salient, less than two hundred yards, was a partially constructed line, which, if extended in the two directions, would have intersected its faces. Following along the right face of the salient, in front of it was an open field, and the surface declining to the right for five or six hundred yards; then came two small streams, separated by a wet flat of one hundred yards; the surface then rose somewhat pronounced, and two hundred yards beyond, on a ridge, was a rifle-pit several hundred yards in length, making an angle to the rear of near forty-five degrees. General Lane's brigade of my division had been ordered to this part of the line during the 11th, and with the view of connecting his left with the right of Steuart's brigade, whose left connected with the right of Jones' brigade—thus holding the salient—threw forward his left down the slope and across the two little streams and connected with it on the open slope beyond. These two short, unfinished lines were the only rear or second line near the salient or its right face the night of the 11th.