Monday, October 10, 2016

Diary of 2nd Lieutenant Lemuel A. Abbott: Saturday, May 14, 1864

We were aroused several times during the night by sharp firing on the skirmish line. About daylight we received an order to move further to the left, and soon found ourselves on the extreme flank of the old line of battle. Soon after we left our old position, the skirmish line that had caused us so much trouble during the night was captured. We found on examination that Lee's army fell back during the night still further. We moved about two miles towards Spottsylvania Court House, charged across the valley and Ny river, and took possession of the heights where Lee's headquarters were this morning relieving the First Division of our Corps which had been hotly engaged. Thus we virtually part with the stage on which was fought one of the greatest battles of modern times if not in history, and no one regrets it; it seems like a horrible dream. But how about the uneasy souls — the remorse of those who are responsible for this war in the hereafter? What does it all mean, anyway? Is man irresponsible? Should he not have a care? Verily!

SOURCE: Lemuel Abijah Abbott, Personal Recollections and Civil War Diary, 1864, p. 59-60

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