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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 827 Chapter XXXVII. THE CHANCELLORSVILLE CAMPAIGN.

beyond the junction of the Plank and Turnpike roads, now in my rear, I halted General Wofford, with directions to watch the Mine road on his right. I then rode on, and found General Wilcox with his brigade in line across the Plank road at Salem Church, General Kershaw forming on his right and General Mahone on the left. I directed General Mahone still more to his left, as he was acquainted with the country, and placed General Semmes to the immediate left of General Wilcox. General Wofford was ordered forward and placed on the right of General Kershaw.

The batteries which I had brought with me had been engaged all the morning and had but little ammunition left. They had been ordered back in such haste that there was no time for them to replenish their chests, but they engaged the enemy until their supplies were nearly exhausted, and then withdrew, and were posted in the rear to command the ground on the flanks and front. The batteries of the enemy were admirably served and played over the whole ground.

Before my command was well in position, the enemy advanced, driving in our skirmishers, and, coming forward with loud shouts, endeavored to force the center (Wilcox) and left center (General Semmes), extending the attack somewhat to Mahone's brigade. One of Wilcox's regiments gave way, and, with the skirmishers running back, created a little confusion. But General Wilcox himself soon corrected this, and, reforming his men, charged the enemy in conjunction with two regiments of Semmes' brigade, led by General Semmes, and drove them back for a considerable distance. I now strengthened the left of Mahone's, which was strongly threatened, with two regiments from Wofford's brigade, on the right, and closed General Kershaw to the left, strengthening the center, supposing that the attack would be renewed; but no other assault was attempted, and, as night drew on, the firing ceased on both sides, and my command bivouacked in line of battle.

In this engagement 300 or 400 prisoners were taken, and about the same number of the enemy were killed and buried.

Just previous to the assault, I sent my inspecting officer, Major [E. L.] Costin, to try and communicate with General Early, and to bring back information as to his position and designs and the whereabouts of the enemy in that direction. A courier late in the night brought en a note from General Early, informing me that he would concentrate his forces in the morning and drive the enemy from the heights, Marye's Hill included. I sent his note to General Lee, who approving it, I forward to General Early, who on the next morning carried the heights with but little opposition. After this, General Early sent me word by his staff officer that, if I would attack in front, he would advance two brigades and strike at the flank and rear of the enemy. I agreed to advance, provided he would first attack, and did advance my right (Kershaw and Wofford) to

co-operate with him; but finding my forces was insufficient for a front attack, I withdrew to my line of the evening previous, General Early not attacking, as I could hear.

In the meanwhile I had informed General Lee of the plank proposed, and asking for an additional force. I was informed, in reply, that the remainder of General Anderson's division had been ordered forward. I then directed that no attack should be made until General Anderson arrived. General Lee came in person to superintended the movement, arriving about the same time with General Anderson's head of column. General Anderson was ordered to the right with his three brigades. My understanding was that the troops of my own division and the brigades of Wilcox and Mahone were to continue in line facing the enemy, had


Page 827 Chapter XXXVII. THE CHANCELLORSVILLE CAMPAIGN.
OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 25, Part 1 (Chancellorsville)
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