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gade into action at the east angle with his customary gallantry, received a wound in the head which long disabled him. The officer of highest rank killed was Colonel John Coons, of Indiana, who fell while giving his men an example of heroic courage. Another officer deeply lamented was LieutenantColonel Waldo Merriam, of Massachusetts. As field officer of the day for Mott's division, he had rendered valuable service in forming the corps for assault and in directing the movement of the column. The death of Lieutenant-Colonel Stricker from the fire of the Confederate picket reserves at the Landron House has already been mentioned. In addition to these, sixty-three commissioned officers were killed or mortally wounded-a fact which speaks volumes for the manner in which the officers of the corps discharged their duties on this memorable day. Of Hancock's staff, Major Harry H. Bingham, judge advocate, an officer rarely equaled in courage, energy, and intelligence, since distinguished in the national Congress, was severely wounded.
When day broke on the 13th it was found that the Confederates had retired wholly from the Salient. In order to develop the enemy's new position, General Gibbon sent two brigades forward toward the Harrison House. The enemy's skirmishers were driven into their works; but Colonel S. Sprigg Carroll was severely wounded in what proved to be his last action. During the remainder of the day
nothing occurred beyond an affair in which Miles succeeded in getting out two guns which had been left between the lines on the 12th, thus swelling the captures to twenty pieces.
The heavy losses which had been sustained by Mott's Fourth Division during the campaign, together with the expiry of the terms of several of the old regiments of 1861, rendered necessary a discontinuance of this division. Its two brigades, one of which General Mott was assigned to command, became attached to Birney's Third Division. Several changes in the position of the corps were made in the interval between the 13th and the 17th of May, but no fighting resulted. On the 16th the corps received very important re-enforcements, consisting of Tyler's division of heavy artillery, fresh from the defenses of Washington, embracing the First Massachusetts, First Maine, and the Second, Seventh, and Eighth New York; and the Corcoran (Irish) Legion, embracing the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth, One Hundred and Sixty-fourth, One Hundred and Seventieth, and One Hundred and Eighty-second New York regiments of infantry. The heavy artillery regiments mustered, when full, eighteen hundred men; and even then, so late in the war, were of the size of brigades which had been continuously in the field. The material was of the best. Yet all this could not make good the losses which the corps had sustained in the first fortnight
of the campaign. Those who had fallen were men inured to camp life, to hardship, exposure, and fatigue; in bivouac they knew how to make themselves almost comfortable with the scantiest means; how to cover themselves in rain and storm; how to make fires out of green wood, find water on dry ground, and cook their rations to the best advantage. On the march they had learned to cover the distance with the least wear and tear. On picket and skirmish they had countless arts by which they at once protected themselves and became more formidable to the enemy. In battle, officers and men had become veterans through a score of fierce encounters. Of the troops named, the Corcoran Legion was assigned to Gibbon's division. The heavy artillery remained for a short time unattached.
In accordance with orders from army headquarters, preparations were made during the 17th for an attack, in the early morning of the 18th, at the very point where the advance of the 12th had been stayed. The enemy having to a large extent been drawn off to their right by a movement of the Fifth and Sixth Corps on the 13th and 14th, it was proposed that the Second and Sixth should suddenly return to a point opposite what was now the Confederate left, in the hope of finding the lines there weak. According to the plan of army headquarters, the Second Corps, starting from the works gained on the 12th, was to advance inward through
the Salient and attack the intrenchments which had been built by the enemy to cut off that portion of their line. At the same time Wright's Sixth Corps was to advance upon the right of the Second and Burnside's Ninth Corps upon the left.
The attack was made as directed, but with no other result than a considerable loss, especially among the newly arrived re-enforcements, which had been placed in front in the hope that their fresh enthusiasm might carry them over the breastworks. The divisions of Barlow and Gibbon advanced in line of brigades; but the enemy were found strongly posted in rifle pits, their front completely covered by heavy slashing, while a powerful artillery opened promptly upon the column. The assaulting brigades could not penetrate the slashing in the face of the musketry and artillery, though the troops behaved with great steadiness. Becoming satisfied that persistence was useless, Hancock advised a disco tinuance of the attack, and Meade thereupon instructed him to withdraw his men. The kilied and wounded of the Second Corps were about six hundred and fifty. "In ordering this assault,” remarks Morgan, “it was perhaps supposed that the corps would be urged to greater efforts to repeat its previous achievements on the same ground; but such was not the fact. Large numbers of the dead were still unburied, and, having been exposed to the hot sun for nearly a week, presented a hideous sight. Such a stench
came up from the field as to make many of the officers and men deathly sick. All the circumstances were such as to dishearten the men rather than to encourage them.”
During the night the main body of the Second Corps lay near the Fredericksburg road, upon the east side of the Ny River. General Meade had determined that the corps should be sent, the night of the 19th, upon a march of twenty miles toward the left, to turn Lee's flank; but the Confederates ordered otherwise. In the afternoon of that day Ewell undertook a movement around Meade's right, his primary object being to ascertain whether the Union army was still in position; his secondary object, to do as much incidental mischief as possible. Leaving his intrenchments occupied by one division, the successor of Stonewall Jackson made a wide detour, and then, turning in sharply, bore down upon the Fredericksburg road, at that time our line of supply. Ewell had doubtless expected to find, so far to the rear, a small force or none; but, as it proved, Kitching's brigade of the Fifth Corps, and Tyler's division of heavy artillery recently assigned to the Second Corps, were in position to receive him. Hancock, galloping to the front, sent word to Birney to bring up his division at the double-quick. “The heavies" were found fiercely engaged in their first battle. Birney, on arriving, threw in two of his brigades, but the stress of the