|Confederate Flank Attack
MAY 6 WAS a comparatively peaceful day for Union soldiers on the Orange Turnpike, Following a brisk exchange of gunfire that morning, the fighting had tapered off. Now, as the sun dipped below the western horizon, Northern soldiers began to relax and prepare themselves dinner. Rifle fire in the woods north of the road interrupted their meal. Five thousand Confederates, led by General John B. Gordon, had taken position on the Union army's right flank and were attacking.
Panic spread rapidly down the Union line. Two Federal generals and 800 other men fell captive. Nightfall and a stiffening Union defense, however, limited Gordon's gains. Though battered, the Army of the Potomac ultimately look position in a new set of works, ensuring that the Battle of the Wilderness would end in stalemate.
General John B. Gordon led the Confederate attack.
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