Wednesday, May 7, 2014

The 48th/150th: "It Was Hard To Determine Just How Our Army Was Fronting And The Lines Running:" May 7-8, 1864

May 7-8, 1864. . .Saturday/Sunday

The Wilderness. . .

Daylight on the morning of Saturday, May 7, revealed that the Confederates had abandoned their lines directly to the front of the 48th. A skirmish force was sent forward and few Confederate prisoners were rounded up, but no substantial enemy line was discovered. It was a quiet day, a relatively quiet day, at least. "On the 7th but little hard fighting was done as we were moving about all day for position," recorded regimental historian Joseph Gould, who added that in the thick Virginia wilderness "It was hard to determine just how our army was fronting and the lines running." Soldiers were marching back toward Fredericksburg; others back to Chancellorsville. Meanwhile, said Gould, "the woods were still burning from the effects of yesterday's fighting, and many of the wounded were burned to death ere they could be removed." The dead were buried and the wounded were placed on wagons, heading back toward Fredericksburg. When it was determined that there was no real danger to their front, the soldiers of the 48th helped to build and strengthen earthworks, and even though they were exposed to the fire of Confederate sharpshooters, the records show no injuries or deaths in the regiment on May 7.
A little after 12:00 noon on May 7, the regiment was pulled from its position and directed to a position between the Wilderness Tavern and the Spotswood House. It later marched east toward Chancellorsville and went into bivouac on the "old battlefield."

It remained there throughout the day on May 8.

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