Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 33.djvu/331

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Battle near tipotsylvania Courthouse. 327

and been assigned to my division as the Fourth brigade, and Col. Thomas S. Smyth, First Delaware Volunteers, and Colonel H. B. McKeen, Eighty-first Pennsylvania Volunteers, reported to me for duty, and were assigned to the command of the Third and First brigades respectively. The division was formed in two lines, the first line composed of McKeen's and Murphy's brigades (First and Fourth) in line of battle connecting with Barlow's division on the left and the Sixth corps on the right, and supported by the sec- ond line. Owen's and Smyth's brigades (Second and Third) formed in line of battalions en masse. Directly in front of the centre of my line was a thick, heavy wood, which prevented any consider- able portion of the division from being seen from any one point. The troops moved to the assault at 4:30 A. M., and gal- lantly carried some of the enemy's works in their front, when the second line was ordered forward in support. We soon, however, came upon the enemy's main line of works, well manned both with infantry and artillery, and protected in front with abatis, from which the fire was so heavy that the troops made no headway against it and were forced to retire."

Colonel Thomas A. Smyth, of Hancock's corps, page 449 of Record, says: "I assumed command of this brigade by order of Brigadier- General Gibbon, May iyth, 1864, the army then being in the vicinity of Spotsylvania Courthouse. About 10:30 P. M. I was ordered to mass the brigade in front of the Landrum House, and near the vacated line of the enemy's intrenchments, before daylight, which was accomplished, the brigade being in column of battalions between the Landrum House and the road. Subse- quently it was deployed into line by battalions in mass, and I was ordered by Brigadier-General Gibbon to move forward in support of the Corcoran Legion. At daylight the Legion moved forward and I followed at short supporting distance. The first line was repulsed, and my brigade taking a position in a ravine covered their retreat. I at once deployed a line of skirmishers and held this position until 12:35 p - M -> when in obedience to orders from General Gibbon, I withdrew to the second line, of intrenchments."

Colonel John C. Tidball, Chief Artillery, Hancock's corps, page 510 of Records, says: "May i8th moved from Harris' house to the deserted house, and Roder, Ames and Ricketts to Landrum's. Sent Edgell's battery to Colonel Tompkins. Brown, Roder and Ames, in the first line, silenced rebel battery; 12 M. still in posi-