The Journal of James Edmond Pease: Scene
This is May 13, 1864 and G Company thought I was dead, but when I showed myself they thought they saw a ghost. The whole company told me that they ambush us, somewhere in 2: 30 a.m. and that Maj. Pettit’s men finally called retreat. Most of those who could move themselves made it back to the main road, where the officers rallied them. They went up the road and joined the fight again, but then the woods caught fire and forced them to retire a second time. That is where Pete. William got shot in the leg and then the fire burned him as he was crawling off.
Elements of Lee's army beat the Union army to the critical crossroads of Spotsylvania Court House and began entrenching. Fighting occurred on and off from May 8 through May 21, 1864, as Grant tried various schemes to break the Confederate line. In the end, the battle was tactically inconclusive, but with almost 32,000 casualties on both sides and one was in our company, it was the costliest battle of the campaign. I and Johnny fought the whole battle in till we got some rest in a farm.
Grant used Upton's assault technique on a much larger scale on May 16 when he ordered the 15,000 men of Maj. Gen which including us. Winfield S. Hancock's corps to assault the Mule Shoe. Hancock was initially successful, but the Confederate leadership rallied and repulsed his incursion. Attacks by Maj. Gen. Horatio G. Wright on the western edge of the Mule Shoe, which became known as the "Bloody Angle", involved almost 24 hours of desperate hand-to-hand fighting, some of the most intense of the Civil War. Supporting attacks by Warren and by Maj. Gen. Ambrose Burnside were unsuccessful.
Grant repositioned his lines in another attempt to engage Lee under more favorable conditions and launched a final attack by Hancock on May 18, which made no progress. A reconnaissance in force by Confederate Lt. Gen. Richard S. Ewell at Harris farm on May 19 was a costly and pointless failure. On May...