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enemy, charged and carried a portion of the opposing lines. Three times did the brave men of the second division advance upon the enemy's intrenchments, and though they gained considerable advantage, they were not able to carry the position.
General Willcox, after holding the Parker's Store road for some time, was finally enabled, about two o'clock in the afternoon, to withdraw his division and to go to General Potter's assistance. Colonel Hartranft's brigade had already moved forward to General Potter's right, and, with its usual gallantry, had attacked the enemy and punished him severely. But Colonel Hartranft, having once broken through the enemy's lines, found himself confronted by so strong a force as to make further progress impracticable. He did however succeed in maintaining his position, close by the enemy's intrenchments, where he was bravely supported by the brigade of Colonel Christ. An attack by the two divisions, in connection with the second corps, was contemplated at six o'clock. The enemy, ascertaining the arrangement, opened fire upon our troops, necessitating an earlier assault. The troops advanced about half-past five o'clock, made a singularly gallant charge upon the enemy, drove him into his works and even broke a portion of his line. But the obstinate resistance which he made and the strong position which he held, prevented a complete success. The two divisions held their ground in front of the enemy, and, when the sun set upon the second day's engagement and the two armies rested on their respective lines, the advantage was clearly with our men. General Lee did not venture upon a third day of fighting. After a demonstration upon our right, which created some confusion in the sixth corps, and at one time threatened very serious consequences, the withdrew from our immediate front, into his fortified lines of defence.
The fourth division, with the cavalry, arrived at Germania ford at an early hour on the morning of the 6th, and at first expected to enter into the conflict. General Ferrero was ordered to report to General Sedgwick and was by him directed at
first to press the enemy. But on the arrival of Colonel Marshall's provisional brigade, composed of some heavy artillery regiments, that had been garrisoning the defences of Washington and were now assigned to the Ninth Corps, General Ferrero's division was ordered to guard the bridges, roads and trains then near the Rapidan. The white troops were at once put into the conflict. A speck of danger appeared in the evening, when the enemy attacked General Sedgwick, but it soon vanished, and through the night, the fourth division moved up the trains nearer to the rear of the army. General Ferrero and his men would have been glad of more active and prominent service. But General Grant felt disposed to employ his white soldiers in the more dangerous duties of the campaign, and the men of the colored division had no opportunity of displaying their courage until a later day.
The losses of the Corps in the desperate fighting of the 6th were somewhat severe. The two divisions lost nine hundred and eighty-five killed, wounded and missing, among whom were several officers of promise. Colonel Frank Graves, of the 8th Michigan infantry, belonging to General Willcox's division, was mortally wounded while leading his regiment bravely in the battle, and unfortunately fell into the hands of the enemy. He was a gallant officer, and had done good service in former campaigns. Colonel Charles E. Griswold, of the 56th Massachusetts regiment, was killed early in the action. He was shot and fell dead without a groan. Hs was one of the most accomplished of the numerous young officers of merit that the State of Massachusetts has contributed to the war. His regiment was a model of neatness, regularity and good discipline. He was an excellent specimen of the patriotic New England citizen soldier ;—brave, intelligent and skilful, always faithful to his duty, and ready to meet every danger and death itself with a calm and courageous soul. Of the enemy's forces immediately engaged with the Ninth Corps, General Longstreet was quite severely wounded.
On the 7th, General Grant discovered that the enemy was
not disposed to renew the battle except from behind his works. He determined to turn the position by marching by General Lee's right flank. On the night of the 7th, the movement to'wards Spottsylvania Court House commenced. General Warren, with the fifth corps, had the advance. General Burnside, with the Ninth Corps, brought up the rear. The first division immediately followed the fifth corps. The other divisions, with Colonel Marshall's provisional brigade, followed the sixth corps towards Chancellorsville, not gaining the road until daybreak of the 8th, on account of its occupancy by the sixth corps and its trains. The Corps moved through Chancellorsville and went into bivouac on the road beyond. The artillery reserve belonging to the Corps was ordered to join the artillery reserve of the Army of the Potomac, with which it remained until the 16th. The fourth division and cavalry covered the trains. Some skirmishing ensued during the march, whenever the enemy approached too near our columns, and always to his disadvantage.
The 9th passed with a more exciting train of events than the two preceding days. A very gallant affair was conducted by General Willcox with his division. He had been directed to move his command to the crossing of the Ny river on the Fredericksburg and Spottsylvania road. General Willcox was early on the march, and about a mile from the river his advance came in contact with the enemy's pickets. He quickly drove them to and across the river, and seized the bridge. Colonel Christ's brigade, with Roemer's and Twitchell's batteries of artillery, was immediately thrown across and posted on a little eminence about a quarter of a mile beyond. Colonel Christ was attacked while here by a considerable force of dismounted cavalry and a brigade of General Longstreet's corps. Colonel Hartranft sent over two regiments of his brigade to reënforce Colonel Christ. The enemy made repeated assaults upon our position, but was effectually repulsed at all points. Finding fruitless further attempts to dispute our progress, he finally retired, leaving about fifty prisoners and several of his
wounded in our hands. About noon, the first division came up, and the point was secured against any danger of loss. The third division-and especially Colonel Christ's brigade-won this position in a very creditable manner, but at a cost of one hundred and eighty-eight killed, wounded and missing. The second division was brought up in the course of the afternoon, but too late to take any part in the brisk engagement which Colonel Christ had so finely carried through. The fourth division was occupied in guarding the rear of the entire army. In the course of the day, the 2d Ohio cavalry was attacked, near Piney Branch Church, by a brigade of the enemy's cavalry, with two pieces of artillery. The 23d regiment United States colored troops was sent to the assistance of the cavalry, and, with conspicuous courage, attacked and forced back the enemy. The cavalry pursued, and soon relieved the trains from the presence of a troublesome foe. Preparations were made by General Burnside for a further movement, to be undertaken on the following day.
The 9th had passed with considerable fighting by the other portions of the army. The enemy had divined the purpose of General Grant, and was not inclined to allow him to carry it out without opposition. General Lee, having the shorter lines, moved his army from the field of battle in the Wilderness to the defensive points around Spottsylvania Court House, and immediately crowned them with fortifications. General Grant found his progress once more stopped, and after one or two attempts to force the position, halted his army and prepared , for another bloody battle.
The fighting of the 8th and 9th, though not of so important character as on the preceding days in the Wilderness, was yet sufficiently serious to result in considerable loss. On the 8th, General Warren had a brisk engagement, in which were manifested the steadiness and courage of the fifth corps and its commander. On the 9th, the sixth corps met with an incalculable loss in the fall of its commander, the brave General Sedgwick. After the Ninth Corps had passed from his command to that
of General Smith, General Sedgwick had been assigned to the command of the sixth corps. In all the operations of the Army of the Potomac, subsequent to that time, he performed a distinguished part. When General Hooker moved upon Chancellorsville, it was General Sedgwick's duty to storm the heights of Fredericksburg, in order to create a diversion in favor of his chief. The work was most gallantly done, and the enemy's positions on Marye's hill and beyond were carried by a vigorous charge. General Hooker's failure let loose the greater portion of General Lee's army upon the sixth corps. But General Sedgwick was successful in extricating his command from its perilous position, though with severe loss, and crossed to the north bank of the Rappahannock above Falmouth.
In all the movements of the Army of the Potomac, General Sedgwick's corps was always found in the right place. So clear was his merit, that he was offered the command of the army itself. But with characteristic modesty, he declined the proffered honor. He preferred the more humble position of a corps commander, and in that capacity was remarkably faith-ful and trustworthy. By his presence of mind and coolness he saved the right wing of the army in the enemy's night attack of the 6th, and contributed very materially to the successes which were afterwards gained. He was killed while standing near an embrasure in one of our hastily erected earthworks. A bullet from the rifle of a sharpshooter of the enemy pierced his brain, and he fell dead. He was, without question, one of the bravest men and one of the finest soldiers to be found in all our armies. Modest, manly, skilful and courageous, without boastfulness, pretension or show of any sort, he has written for himself a bright and honorable name upon the records of his country, and impressed an ineffaceable image of his genuine manhood upon the hearts of all who love virtue, fidelity and heroism.
On the 10th, the fighting was of a very sanguinary character, but still without decisive results. "The enemy was obstinate," as General Grant found occasion to say, and was resolute in