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The Wilderness

On the 3d of May the regiment moved with the corps, still under command of General Hancock, upon the spring campaign. On the morning of the 5th it arrived on the battle-ground of the Wilderness, and during that day and the succeeding night remained in position, sleeping on its arms. Early on the 6th, without drums or martial music, the line of march was quietly resumed, and the column had proceeded on south about eight miles, when it was halted and after a little delay was ordered to counter-march, the enemy having attacked in force. The division was soon in position, and the fighting became desperate. Advantages were gained and lost, but finally a sheltered position on a slight ridge, which he clung to with great tenacity, was carried and held.

In this assault Lieutenant Colonel Kochersperger, who had command of the regiment, Colonel Smith, from wounds, being in hospital, fell severely wounded. Five color bearers were lost.

At three o'clock in the afternoon the battle was renewed in front of the division, and for over two hours it raged with great fury, the enemy being determined to regain his lost position. He was foiled in every attempt, and finally retired. On the morning of the 7th the advance was sounded, and the regiment, creeping forward through the tangled under-growth, came suddenly face to face with the enemy. The line was pushed forward steadily until it reached the Brock Road, but not without stern resistance. Column after column was hurled against the corps, and the fighting along the whole front was severe. The position here gained was favorable for defence, and it was soon made impregnable.



Bates, Samuel P. History of the Pennsylvania Volunteers, 1861-65, Harrisburg, 1868-1871.