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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 852 N. VA., W. VA., MD., AND PA. Chapter XXXVII.

pleted a reconnaissance of his position, it was too late to effect anything that evening.

Captain Johnston, of the Engineer Corps, who accompanied me, having discovered large parks of the enemey's wagons and the camps of some of his troops on the opposite side of the river, Major Hardaway was directed to post his guns at daybreak on the 4th at a point indicated by Captain Johnston, and to open a hot fire upon the parks and camps. This was executed as directed, and, I believe, with good effect.

Soon afterward our skirmishers were pushed forward, with orders to drive back those of the enemy, and to discover his position and strength. This was accomplished without delay, the enemy being found in force fortifying a high ridge between Mine Run and the road connecting United States Ford and Chancellorsville. Just at this time, I received orders to march with my division toward Fredericksburg and report to Major-General McLaws, at Salem Church, on the Plank road, being relieved from duty at this point by General Heth's command. I arrived at Salem Church with my command at 11 a.m. and reported, as directed, to Major-General McLaws.

At 12 m. in obedience to the directions of the commanding general, my division was placed in line of battle on the left of Major-General Early's, which was occupying Marye's Hill and the heights extending west from Fredericksburg. The general direction of the enemy's line was parallel with the Plank road. At 6 p.m. the signal to advance being given, Early's division, and my own marched rapidly upon the enemy's position, and drove him from it without much trouble, meeting with but slight resistance. Wright's brigade advanced with great intrepidity across a wheat field, under a hot fire of grape, and drove one of the enemy's batteries from its position. The enemy retreated toward Banks' Ford, and was followed closely as long as there was light enough to continue the pursuit. At daylight on the 5th, reconnoitering parties discovered that he had disappeared from our side of the river.

At 4 p.m. I received orders to return with my command to the vicinity of Chancellorsville, and at dark I halted the head of the column 1 mile from that place, Wilcox's and Wright's brigades lying in bivouac on the Catharpin road; Mahone's, Perry's, and Posey's on the Plank road.

At 8 a.m. on the 6th, the division was moved forward to a position at the junction of the Ely's Ford and United States Ford roads. At 11 a.m. in obedience to the orders of the commanding general, I marched toward Fredericksburg, and in the afternoon returned to the position which had been occupied by the division previously to these operations. Wilcox's and Mahone's brigades, after being detached from my command, participated in the fight at Salem Church.

I cannot too highly commend the gallant conduct of the division which I had the honor and good fortune to command. Where all performed ther duty with so much zeal and courage, it is almost impossible to make a distinction; but Brigadier-General Posey and his brave, untiring persevering Mississippians seem to me to deserve especial notice. Their steadiness at the furnace on Saturday evening, when pressed by greatly superior numbers, saved our army from great peril, while their chivalrous charge upon the trenches on Sunday contributed largely to the successes of that day. After three days and nights of incessant occupation, Saturday night was again passed byu them in hard work upon intrenchments in front of the furnace, while the others had an opportunity to take some rest.


Page 852 N. VA., W. VA., MD., AND PA. Chapter XXXVII.
OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 25, Part 1 (Chancellorsville)
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