|Crisis at the Crossroads
CRISES FOLLOWED one after another on May 5. No sooner had Grant and Meade learned about Ewell's approach on The Orange Turnpike than they discovered General A. P. Hill's corps moving up the Orange Plank Road. If Hill reached the Brock Road, he would cut the Army of the Potomac in two.
Union commanders rushed General Winfiefd S. Hancock's Second Corps to the imperiled crossroads, securing it for the North. At 4 pm. Hancock assailed Hill's line. Fighting behind two logworks and amidst fires, Hill's men stubbornly defended themselves against Hancock's sledgehammer blows. When die fighting ended four hours later, Hill's battered line was still intact.
"The wounded stream out, and fresh troops pour in. Stretchers pass with ghastly burdens, and go back reeking with blood for more"
Reporter Charles Page, New York Tribune
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