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History of Cambria County, V.2

Spotsylvania about 8 a. m. The day was taken up in maneuvering and taking new positions.
    Monday, May 9, 1864, Mott's division of Hancock's corps (Capt. Fite) had been sent to Gen. Wright of the 6th Corps. Gen. Wright succeeded Gen. Sedgwick who had been killed by a sharpshooter. Mott was north of the Po river. At 3:45 p. m. Grant directed Warren (Capt. Co. A. 11th Reserves) to make the attack, which he did in person, leading the corps in full uniform. But the odds were against him and he was driven back. Hancock came up at 5:30 and another attack was made at 7 p. m. but they were again repulsed.
    Mott's division (Capt. Fite) was on the left of Hancock, and at 5 p. m. Gen. Wright directed him to make an assault on the enemy on Spotsylvania ridge. This he did and succeeded in capturing the second line of Lee's intrenchments with its battery. Gen. Wright did not deem it proper to hold such an advanced position at that time and directed its withdrawal; however, they brought back 1200 prisoners and several stands of colors. Sheridan (Capt. Hamilton) was at Todd's Tavern, and cutting loose from Grant's army, started on his famous raid around Richmond. The next few days were spent in preparing for another struggle.
    Captain Fite's Company in the Bloody Angle: Thursday, May 12, 1864.
    Lee's line of works extended from the Shady grove road, thence up to the Landrum house, thence back to the Po river. Spotsylvania Court House was within his lines. At the point near the Landrum house was the “Bloody Angle,” the important salient captured by Gen. Hancock on this day, which is admitted to be a leading event in his brilliant career. He had broken Lee's center.
    The salient was an angle of ninety degrees, defended by Gen. Edward Johnston's division. The evening before Hancock had moved his troops as near to the point of attack as was safe, and awaited the dawn to make the assault and capture the angle. Here the hand-to-hand fighting occurred which lasted most of the day. It will be noticed that space was limited to few troops within the lines, not enough for both Johnston and Hancock, but still they fought. Lee's line was broken and consternation prevailed throughout his army. It is evident that Lee was distressed beyond his usual calmness; it had not been the custom for the enemy to break his lines thus. Grant re-

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Created: 25 Mar 2003, Last Updated: 30 Mar 2008
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