As Lee improved his new defenses along the base of the Mule Shoe salient, Grant and Meade shifted the bulk of the Federal army east to attack Spotsylvania from another angle. Federal V and VI Corps abandoned their lines less than a day after they had cap tured the salient, and marched to their left. On May 15, II Corps joined them, extending the Federal left eastward. The Confederates responded by concentrating their strength opposite the Federal build-up.
Suspecting that the Confederates had stripped their old defenses to meet the new Federal move, Grant and Meade decided to double back to the salient, and launch another attack. Starting from the Bloody Angle, Federal II and VI Corps assailed the Confederates on May 18, but Confederate artillery decimated the attackers and drove them back. Grant and Meade quickly aban doned the assault and marched the troops back to the left. Convinced they could never gain the advantage, the Federals once again prepared to circumvent Lee's army.
Believing the Federals were abandoning the area, Lee ordered Ewell's II Corps to probe the Federal right for information. Pushing northeast on May 19, Ewell struck the Federals at Harris Farm. Finding a fresh division of heavy artillery, the Confederate drive ground to a halt. After a vicious and confused battle, the Confederates withdrew. The bloody encounter added a further 900
Court House, Grant ordered the corps of Hancock and Wright to make a dawn assault on the Confederate left, mainly against Ewell's men, fighting from behind strong, newly built lines. After several unsuccessful charges, General Meade abandoned the attack (right).
A Confederate soldier of Ewell's Corps killed m the attack of May 19 (left). So devastating bad been the Union fire that many of the Confederate dead lay in orderly rows,' the alignment of their ranks perfectly preserved.
Spotsylvania i at Fredericksb had been tend Washington. '■ with, men awa
Was this article helpful?