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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 i8th, 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 discontinuance of the attack, and Meade thereupon instructed him to withdraw his men. The killed 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 battle was by that time over. On finding so powerful a body in position to meet them, Ewell's leading brigades recoiled from the encounter. Their reserves were brought up; but soon the whole line, hard pressed in front and overlapped upon the left, gave way and retreated across the Ny. Ewell states his loss at nine hundred. It was doubtless considerably greater. The heavy artillery regiments had borne themselves handsomely; they had sustained without panic a sudden attack which was intended to be another Chancellorsville surprise; they had faced the dread music of battle for the first time without flinching; and in the end had beaten off Rodes's and Gordon's divisions, with some assistance from the infantry coming up in their rear.
The action of the 19th of May, which had not been of our seeking, closed the operations of the Union armies in front of Spottsylvania. The entire losses of the Army of the Potomac and of Burnside's corps (then not officially recognized as a part of Meade's army, but reporting directly to General Grant) from the 8th to the 19th of May are estimated by General Humphreys at 14,679. The losses of the Second Corps had been as follows: Killed, 843; wounded, 3,958; missing, 656. Total, 5,457.
THE NORTH ANNA AND THE TOTOPOTOMOY.
Having satisfied himself that he could make nothing by further attacks at Spottsylvania, General Grant undertook and carried out, between the 20th and 31st of May, two successive movements toward his left, in which he sought to anticipate the enemy, first at the North Anna, and afterward at Totopotomoy Creek. These operations are not without interest to the student of military science; but the object of this narrative will not require us to deal with their incidents at length.
We have seen that the Second Corps had been ordered to move to the left, prior to Ewell's irruption into our rear. The unexpected action of the 19th caused a postponement until the evening of the 20th. The march was through Guinea Station, where vedettes were first encountered by Torbert's cavalry in advance. At Milford Station the enemy were found in rifle pits, and were dislodged by the cavalry. The bridge across the Mattapony having been saved from destruction, the corps was pushed across, the cavalry well out in front, to give timely notice of