Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 33.djvu/335

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Battle near Spotsylvania Courthouse. 33 L

to advance upon and feel the enemy's position. I pushed forward my brigade, composed of the Fourth and Tenth U. S. Infantry, Thirty-fifth, Fifty-sixth, Fifty-seventh and Fifty-ninth Massachu- setts Volunteers, which moved up in admirable style, and reached the abatis in front of them, and it being impossible to penetrate this, I ordered the brigade to fall back and did so, receiving a terrible fire from the enemy. The officers and men behaved with great gallantry, and deserve much credit."

General R. B. Potter, of Burnside's Corps, page 920 of Record, says: "The usual skirmishing and artillery fire continued till the morning of the i8th (May 1864) when we attacked the enemy with vigor all along the line, made three charges on his works and met with considerable loss. We did not succeed in carrying his works, but gained some important ground, rendering parts of his line untenable."

General W. N. Pendleton, General Lee's Chief of Artillery, pages 1054 and 1056, of Record, says: "(May 12, 1864) Major Cutshaw was assigned to the command of Hardaway's battalion and Major Page put in command of the combined remnants of his own and Cutshaw' battalions.

"On the morning of the i8th, the enemy again attempted to carry the line still held by the Second corps near the scene of the former conflict. This time, however, he met guns in position to receive him. His heavy force was allowed to get within good range of our breastworks. There the guns under Colonel Carter (Hard- away's battalion, commanded by Cutshaw and Page's reorganized) opened upon him a murderous fire of spherical case and canister, which at once arrested his advance, threw his columns into confu- sion, and forced him to retreat in disorder. Heavily as he suffered on this occasion, our loss was nothing, and this was accomplished against a force of 12,000 picked infantry by twenty-nine pieces of artillery alone, but well handled."

General R. S. Ewell, page 1073 of Records, says: "As it was un- advisable to continue efforts to retake the salient with the force at my command, a new line was laid out during the day by General Lee's chief engineer, some 800 yards in rear of the first and con- structed at night. After midnight my forces were quietly with- drawn to it and artillery placed in position, but his efforts and losses on the 1 2th seemed to have exhausted the enemy, and all was quiet till May 18 (1864), when a strong force advanced past the McCool