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The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies

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OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 25, Part 1 (Chancellorsville)
Page 798 N. VA., W. VA., MD., AND PA. Chapter XXXVII.

It was evident that a direct attack upon the enemy would be attended with great difficulty and loss, in view of strength of his position and his superiority of numbers. It was, therefore, resolved to endeavor to turn his right flank and again his rear, leaving a force in front to hold him in check and conceal the movement. The execution of this plan was instructed to Lieutenant-General jackson with his three divisions. The command of Generals McLaws and Anderson, with the exception of Wilcox's brigade, which during the night had been ordered back to Banks' Ford, remained in front of the enemy.

Early on the morning of the 2nd, General Jackson marched by the Furnace and Brock roads, his movement being effectually covered by Fitzhugh Lee's cavalry, under General Stuart in Person. As the near of the train was passing the furnace, a large force of the enemy advanced from Chancellorsville and attempted its capture. General Jackson had left the Twenty-Third Georgia Regiment, under Colonel [E. F.] Best, at this point to guard his flank, and upon the approach of the enemy Lieutenant-Colonel [J. T.] Brown, whose artillery was passing at the time, placed a battery in position to aid in checking his advance. A small number of men were marching to join their commands, including Captain [W. S.] Moore, with two companies of the Fourteenth Tennessee Regiment, of Archer's brigade, reported to Colonel Brown, and supported his guns. The enemy was kept back by this small force until the train had passed, but his superior numbers enabled him subsequently to surround and capture the greater part of the Twenty-third Georgia Regiment. general Anderson was directed to send a brigade to resist the further progress of this column, and detached General Posey for that purpose. General posey became warmly engaged with a superior force, but being re-enforced by General [A. R] Wright, the enemy's advance was arrested.

After a long and fatiguing march, reached the old turnpike, about 3 miles in rear of Chancellorsville, at 4 p. m. As the different divisions arrived, they were formed at right angels to the road - Rodes in front, Trimble's division, under Brigadier-General [R. E.] Colston, in the second, and A. P. Hill's in the third, line.

At 6 p. m. the advance was ordered. the enemy were taken by surprise, and fled after a brief resistance. General Rodes' men pushed forward with great vigor and enthusiasm, followed closely by the second and third lines. Position after position was carried, the guns captured, and every effort of the enemy to rally defeated by the impetuous rush of our troops. In the ardor of pursuit through the thick and tangled woods, the first and second lines at last became mingled, and moved on together as one. The enemy made a stand at line of breastworks across the road, at the house of Melzie Chancellor, but the troops of Rodes and Colston dashed over the intrenchments together, and the flight and pursuit were resumed, and continued until our advance was arrested by the abatis in front of the line of works near the central position at Chancellorsville. It was now dark, and General jackson ordered the third line, under General [A. P.] Hill, to advance to the front, and relieve the troops of Rodes and Colston, who were completely blended and in such disrobed, from their rapid advance through intricate woods and over broken ground, that it was necessary to reform them. As Hill's men moved forward, General jackson, with his staff and escort, returning from the extreme front, met his skirmishers advancing, and in the obscurity of the night were mistaken for the enemy and fired upon. Captain [J. K.] Boswell, chief engineer of the corps, and several


Page 798 N. VA., W. VA., MD., AND PA. Chapter XXXVII.
OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 25, Part 1 (Chancellorsville)
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