504 OPERATIONS IN SE. VA. AND N. C. [CRAP. XLVIII.
gade (Excelsior) was obliged to fall back to the breast-works which
had been thrown up by the first line, which was done in good order.
The enemy followed up his temporary success, but on coming within
range of the breast-works they were most signally repulsed. This
ended the attack of May 5.
Early on the morning of the 6th the line again advanced, driving
Wofford's brigade of Georgia troops before it for a distance of a
mile, when the line halted and remained in position for two hours,
skirmishing going on continually. At the expiration of that time
the enemy attacked the whole line in strong force. The regiments
on our left were soon broken, and this command found itself con-
fronted by heavy masses of the enemy on its left flank and rear. It
accordingly fell back in good order to the breast-works it had held
at daylight. The enemy followed up his advantage, but with no
better success than the day previous, he being most signally repulsed.
At this time, however, the breast-works, formed as they were of dry
logs and brush, caught fire and soon became untenable. The com-
mand had also expended all of its ammunition. It accordingly fell
back to the second line of works, and afterward was formed as
a second line of battle some 300 yards in the rear and resupplied
with ammunition. The enemy attempted to occupy the ground so
abandoned between the two lines of breast-works, but were received
with such a withering' fire from the troops in the second line that
they were forced to retire, leaving their dead and wounded behind
This command with its brigade (Excelsior) remained on the re-
serve until the' afternoon of the 7th of May, when it moved to the
right of the plank road, relieving a portion of the Ninth Corps.
This command was engaged in skirmishing during the night, but
was withdrawn on the morning of the 8th, to act as infantry rear
guard to the army, which was moving toward Spotsylvania. It
reached Todd's Tavern the same evening, when it was relieved and
rejoined its brigade (Excelsior), which occupied the right of the
Second Corps. Was engaged in throwing up works until the after-
noon of the 9th, when the regiment was deployed as skirmishers,
but there being no connection on either flank and the same being
threatened by the enemy's cavalry, it was withdrawn to the works
and formed connection with other troops. At 3 a. m. of the 10th the
regiment joined the brigade (Excelsior) and the whole command
moved to the extreme left of the corps, threw up works under a
heavy fire of sharpshooters and pickets at a place called Brown's
house. Between 2 and 3 p. m. a charge was made on the enemy,
the brigade (Excelsior) being in the second line. The enemy were
driven through a belt of woods and across a field into their works.
The enemy being too heavily intrenched the troops fell back to their
original position. On the morning of the 11th six companies of this
regiment were deployed as skirmishers, four companies being held in
reserve. They soon succeeded in driving the enemy's skirmishers
through the woods into an open field, but the fire proved so heavy
the line could advance no farther. They accordingly held their
position, connecting with the skirmishers of the Sixth Corps. In-
formation was immediately sent to Generals Mott and Wright of the
position of the enemy ; remained on the skirmish line until 5 p. m.,
when the regiment was withdrawn. Joined its brigade (Excelsior),
marched 3 miles to the right, received rations and ammunition, and
marched immediately back to its old position and commenced throw-
ing up works on the continuation of the old line.