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spade as we afterwards became. This is clearly shown in the defences.
There is some carelessness apparent. Ambulances are close by the line. Ammunition-wagons and the train of pack-mules are mixed up with the regiments. Even a drove of beeves is herded in the open close by. All these properly belong well to the rear. Officers' servants and camp-gear are spread abroad in the vicinity of each command, rather more comfortably ensconced than the immediate presence of the enemy may warrant.
The ground in the vicinity is largely clearing. But dense woods cover the approaches, except in some few directions southerly. Down the roads no great distance can be seen; perhaps a short mile on the plank road, not many hundred yards on the turnpike.
Little Wilderness Church, in the rear of the position, looks deserted and out of place. Little did its worshippers on last sabbath day imagine what a conflict would rage about its walls before they again could meet within its peaceful precincts.
There may be some absence of vigilance on the part of the pickets and scouts; though it is not traceable in the reports, nor do any of the officers concerned remember such. But the advanced line is not intrenched as Miles's line in front of Hancock has been. Less care, rather than more carelessness, is all that can be observed on this score.
Meanwhile Jackson has ranged his corps, with the utmost precaution and secrecy, in three lines, at right angles to the pike, and extending about a mile on either side. All orders are given in a low tone. Cheering as “ Old Jack" passes along is expressly prohibited.
Rodes, commanding D. H. Hill's division, leads, with Iverson's and Rodes's brigades to the left of the road, and Doles's and Colquitt's to the right. Rodes's orders to his brigades are to push on steadily, to let nothing delay or retard them. Should the resistance at Talley's Hill, which Rodes expects, render necessary the use of artillery, the line is to check its advance until this eminence is carried. But to press on, and let no obstacle stand in the way, is the watchword.
Two hundred yards in rear of the first line, Colston, commanding Trimble’s division, ranges his brigades, Nichols and Jones on the left, and Colston on the right of the road; Ramseur in support.
A. P. Hill's division is not yet all up; but, as part reaches the line, it is formed in support of Colston, the balance following in column on the pike.
The second and third lines are ordered to re-enforce the first as occasion requires.
Two pieces of Stuart's horse-artillery accompany the first line on the pike.
The regiments in the centre of the line appear to have been formed in columns with intervals, each brigade advancing in line of columns by regiment. The troops are not preceded by any skirmishers. The line on the wings is probably not so much massed. It is subsequently testified by many in the Eleventh Corps, that the centre of the line appears to advance en échiquier, the front companies of each line of columns firing while the rear columns are advancing through the intervals.
The march through the woods up to Dowdall's clearing has not disturbed the lines so materially as to prevent the general execution of such a manæuvre.
UCH is the situation at six P.M. Now Jackson gives
the order to advance; and a heavy column of twentytwo thousand men, the best infantry in existence, as tough, hardy, and full of élan, as they are ill-fed, illclothed, and ill-looking, descends upon the Eleventh Corps, whose only ready force is four regiments, the section of a battery, and a weak line of pickets. The
game, in which these woods still abound, startled at the unusual visitors, fly in the advance of Jackson's line towards and across the Dowdall clearing, and many a mouth waters, as fur and feather in tempting variety rush past; while several head of deer speedily clear the dangerous ground, before the bead of willing rifles can be drawn upon them.
This sudden appearance of game causes as much jollity as wonder. All are far from imagining its cause.
The next sound is that of bugles giving the command, and enabling the advancing troops to preserve some kind of alignment. At this the wary prick up their ears. Surprise stares on every face. Immediately follows a crash of musketry as Rodes sweeps away our skirmish line as it were a cobweb. Then comes the long and heavy roll of veteran infantry fire, as he falls upon Devens's line.
The resistance which this division can make is as nothing against the weighty assault of a line moving by battalions in mass. Many of the regiments do their duty well. Some barely fire a shot. This is frankly acknowledged in many of the reports. What can be expected of new troops, taken by surprise, and attacked in front, flank, and rear, at once ? Devens is wounded, but remains in the saddle until his division is irretrievably gone, when he turns over the command to McLean. He has lost sixteen hundred out of four thousand men, and nearly all his superior officers, in a brief ten minutes.
Schurz's division is roused by the heavy firing on the right, in which even inexperienced ears detect something more than a mere repetition of the picket-fight of three hours gone. Its commanding officers are at once alert. Regimental field and staff are in the saddle, and the men behind the stacks, leaving canteens, haversacks, cups with the steaming evening coffee, and rations at the fires. Arms are taken. Regiments are confusedly marched and counter-marched into the most available positions, to meet an emergency which some one should have anticipated and provided for. The absence of Barlow is now fatal. .
On comes Jackson, pursuing the wreck of the First division. Some of Schurz's regiments break before Devens has passed to the rear. Others stand firm until the victorious Confederates are upon them with their yell of triumph, then steadily fall back, turning and firing at