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

The batteries opened whenever the masses of the enemy on the hills in my front offered and opportunity, and with marked results.

My orders were to hold my position; not to engage seriously, but to press strongly so soon as it was discovered that General Jackson had attacked. It was not until late in the evening that it was known General Jackson had commenced his assault, when I ordered an advance along the whole line to engage with the skirmishers, which were largely re-enforced, and to threaten, but not attack seriously; in doing which General Wofford became so seriously engaged that I directed him to withdraw, which was done in good order, his men in good spirits, after driving the enemy to their entrenchments.

As General Jackson advanced, the enemy massed in front of the batteries on my line, which opened on them with excellent effect. This continued until darkness prevented any further efforts in my front. Generals Kershaw and Semmes had been pressing to the left and front and engaging the enemy with their skirmishers, which had left an open space, so far as the main body was concerned, between my right and center of considerable distance, but the skirmishers of General Semmes, composed of the entire Tenth Georgia Regiment, were perfectly reliable, and kept the enemy to their entrenchments, so there was nothing to be apprehended from an advance in this direction.

May 3, nothing occurred during the night save the magnificent display caused by the night attack of General Jackson. My skirmishers, well to the front and strong in numbers, engaged the enemy as day advanced. The batteries were run forward, and played upon the masses of the enemy, in good range, producing much confusion. Finally the repeated attacks of the forces on my left forced the enemy to give way from Chancellorsville, and our troops cold be seen advancing across the plains.

General Wofford threw a portion of his command across the valley between him and the Chancellorsville heights, and thus prevented the escape of a considerable body of the enemy which had been opposed to his brigade and to his left and front during the morning. I directed a flag of truce to be sent them, and they surrendered. I think that General Wofford is entitled to the most credit for their capture, although the Tenth Georgia, General Semmes, and General Wright, of Anderson's division, claimed their share equally.

Kershaw and Semmes, bearing up to the left to co-operate with General Anderson, to unite with the two wings of the army, had now swept around to the plains of Chancellorsville, and I directed them to march down the Plank road and unite with General Wofford's left. As this was in the act of accomplishment, information was received that the enemy had carried the heights about Fredericksburg and were advancing up the Plank road. General Lee here rode up, and ordered that the brigades of Generals Mahone and Kershaw should march at once toward Fredericksburg, with [B. C.] Manly's battery, to meet the enemy, and after their brigades were in march, and had advanced some distance, he directed me to proceed in the same direction with the remainder of my division, which was done so soon as the brigades could be formed.

On reaching the rifle-pits just beyond the junction of the Turnpike and Mine roads, I formed General Mahone's brigade along the rifle-pits; General Kershaw's halted along the road; General Wilcox's brigades was marching to the front. I ordered them all forward, but as I was here informed that the enemy in considerable force were going down the Telegraph road, and as I thought that it was perhaps their intention to march forward by the Plank and Mine roads, which came together just


Page 826 N.VA., W.VA., MD., AND PA. Chapter XXXVII.
OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 25, Part 1 (Chancellorsville)
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