Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 06.djvu/91

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Reports of the Battle of the Wilderness.

under the fire of the enemy, who had so far penetrated into the interval between Hennegan and the road as to almost enfilade the Second South Carolina, which was holding the left of the road, and some batteries which were there stationed. Humphreys was pushed forward as soon as he got into position, and made for a time steady progress. In the meantime, General Bryan's brigade coming up, was ordered into position to Hennegan's right. That officer, in obedience to orders, had pushed forward and driven the enemy in his front for some distance through the dense thicket which covered the country to the right of the Plank road, but they being heavily reinforced, forced him back to the line which Humphreys had by this time reached. Here the enemy held my three brigades so obstinately that I endeavored to bring up General Wofford's brigade to extend my right, but that officer not having arrived (marching as rear guard to the wagon train), and urged forward by the Lieutenant-General Commanding, I placed myself at the head of the troops and led in person a charge of the whole command, which drove the enemy to and beyond their original line, and occupied their temporary field works some half mile or more in advance. The lines being rectified, and Field's division and Wofford's brigade of my own having arrived, upon the suggestion of Brigadier-General Wofford, a movement was organized, under the orders of the Lieutenant-General Commanding, to attack the enemy in flank from the line of the Orange railroad on our right, with the brigades of General Anderson of Field's division and Brigadier-General Wofford's of my own, supported by Mahone's brigade, while we continued to hold the enemy in front, who was at intervals bearing down upon our lines, but always without any success. This movement, concealed from view by the dense wood, was eminently successful, and the enemy was routed and driven pell-mell as far as the Brock road, and pursued by General Wofford to some distance across the Plank road, where he halted within a few hundred yards of the Germana road. Returning with General Wofford up the Plank road and learning the condition of things in front, we met the Lieutenant-General Commanding coming to the front almost within musket range of the Brock road. Exchanging hasty congratulations upon the success of the morning, the Lieutenant-General rapidly planned and directed an attack to be made by Brigadier-General Jenkins and myself upon the position of the enemy upon the Brock road, before he could recover from his disaster. The order to me was to break their line and push all to the right of the road towards Fredericksburg. Jenkins' brigade was put in motion by a flank, in the Plank road, my division in the woods to the right. I rode with General Jenkins at the head of his command, arranging with him the details of our combined attack. We had not advanced as far as the position still held by Wofford's brigade, when two or three shots were fired on the left of the road, and some stragglers came running in from that direction, and immediately a volley was poured into the