Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 20.djvu/95

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The Battle of the Wilderness. 89

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 Wof- ford's, of my own, supported by Mahone's brigade, while we con- tinued 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 woods, 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 Ger- manna 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 toward Fredericks- burg. 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 head of our column from the woods on our right, occupied by Mahone's brigade. By this volley General Longstreet was prostrated by a feariul wound ; Brigadier General Jenkins, Captain Alfred E. Doby, my aid-de- camp, and Orderly Marcus Baum were instantly killed.

"As an instance of the promptness and ready presence of mind of our troops, I will mention that the leading files of Jenkins' brigade on this occasion instantly faced the firing and were about to return it; but when I dashed my horse into their ranks, crying, ' They are friends ! ' they as instantaneously realized the position of things and fell on their faces where they stood. This fatal casualty arrested the projected movement. The commanding general soon came in per- son to the front and ordered me to take position with my right rest- ing on the Orange railroad. Though an advance was made later in the day, my troops became no more engaged, except General Wof-