430 OPERATIONS IN SE. VA. AND N. C. (CRAP. XLVIII.
possession of the road, and held it. As Owen's brigade arrived upon
the ground it was posted on Webb's right. The day closed with
heavy skirmishing. By order of Major-General Hancock, I was on
the 6th placed in command of the left of the army, composed of Gen-
eral Barlow's division and my own. During the 6th all of the bri-
gades of the division were more or less detached from my command
to aid in the attack on the enemy's position, and for the particulars
of their services I refer to the reports of Generals Webb and Carroll.
No report has been received from General Owen.
The country in-which the battle was fought was almost an im-
penetrable thicket through which it was impossible to see for more
than a few yards. The weather being very dry and hot, the woods
soon took fire, and many of our poor wounded were burned to death.
In the afternoon the enemy made a furious attack upon us, and
judging from the firing that he had broken through our line, I sent
Brooke's brigade, of the First Division, through the burning wood
toward the point of attack. This fine brigade with its gallant com-
mander marched through in line of battle, and arrived in time to
reassure our exhausted troops, which had, with the assistance of
Carroll's brigade, repulsed the attack. On the 7th, the division was
not engaged except by skirmishers, and that night, or rather about
daylight on the 8th, we took up the march for Todd's Tavern. In
the battle of the Wilderness the division lost heavily both in officers
and men. The gallant Colonel (now Brigadier-General) Carroll was
wounded in the arm, but still kept the field. Colonel Macy,
Twentieth Massachusetts, who had just rejoined his regiment, was
wounded, and Maj. H. L. Abbott, of the same regiment, after earn-
ing for himself the highest reputation as a soldier, fell mortally
wounded while gallantly fighting with his regiment, besides many
others whose names cannot be more particularly mentioned in con-
sequence of the absence of brigade and regimental reports. Very
little artillery was used in consequence of the nature of the country.
SPOTSYLVANIA COURT-HOUSE.-MAY 8 TO MAY 20.
The division reached the vicinity of Spotsylvania Court-House in
the afternoon, bivouacking for the night on the road in rear of the
Fifth and Sixth Corps. The next morning it was first placed in posi-
tion, faced to the rear, and afterward marched up and took position
faced to the Po River, to the rear of the right flank of the Fifth Corps.
Just before dark it crossed the Po, and the next morning, the 10th,
recrossed the river to support the Fifth Corps, engaged in making an
attack on the enemy's mtren died position. Here Webb's and Car-
roll's brigades were placed in line, Owen's being held in reserve.
Webb's and Carroll's brigades made two ineffectual assaults on the
enemy's works, the first under orders from Major-General Warren,
the second, later in the afternoon, under orders from Major-General
Hancock. The position occupied by these troops was in a dense
wood, filled with dead cedar trees, whose hard dry branches, project-
ing like so many bayonets from the stem, rendered the movement of
a line of battle in any sort of order utterly impracticable. The only
result of the two assaults was to kill and wound a large number of
men, many of whom were burnt to death by the fierce conflagration
which raged in the dry timber. The brigades, however, held their
original positions until the next night, when they were withdrawn
and marched during the night to the left of the army, when the