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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 875 Chapter XXXVII. THE CHANCELLORSVILLE CAMPAIGN.

line, and, in obedience to Major-General Anderson's orders, bivouacked my men in the woods for rest.

Some time before daylight of the morning of May 3, I moved my command, by direction of Major-General Anderson; down the Catharpin road, for the purpose of scouring the country to the left of, and rear of the left of Major-General Anderson's line. I found the country clear, and moved up by the furnace on the left of the line, and came up with the other brigades of the division near to the enemy's works. I at once formed my line of battle, and pushed forward upon the right flank of the enemy's works, on the left of the line of General Anderson's division. The fire was quite brisk here from a line of the enemy thrown back at right angles to this front to protect his flank and rear. This line soon gave way, and pushing forward, I found myself inside of his breastworks.

Having no knowledge of the ground, and the woods being so thick as to entirely obstruct the view, I was at a loss for some time as to the direction of the enemy's next line. Their musket-balls soon gave me the proper direction, and I changed front, and, sending out skirmishers, soon found their line on the thickly wooded hill in the rear of their, breastworks and to their right of the field in front of Chancellor's. I ordered a charge, and the enemy, after one or two rounds, broke in the utmost confusion, throwing down arms, knapsacks, &c., great numbers of them running into our lines. No sooner had the enemy's line vanished than their batteries poured a most terrific fire of grape and canister int my lines. The men lying down, and being partially protected by a small ridge, the fire was not as fatal a I had reason to fear. Upon going to the front, I found no infantry in my front between me and the Turnpike road, and that I could not lead my men against the enemy's battery without encountering the range of our own battery on the left of the rear of my line, which was then clearing out the enemy in double-quick time. While making this charge, portions of two ther brigades, who were lying down in the woods, and whom a portion of my line had charged over, rushed back from the sudden and terrific fire poured into us before the enemy gave way, and the Eighth Florida Regiment, which had not then passed over them, mistaking them for the left of their own brigade, allowed themselves to be swept back a short distance by them. They were not, however, at all panic stricken, but were rallied at once, their morade, and spirit in no manner impaired. I cannot think any blame should be attached to either the officers or the men of the regiment. I remained in that position until the rest of the division was marched up by General Anderson, and moved by the right flank with them to the Turnpike road, where the division halted. Soon after, I was directed, by order from General Anderson, to occupy the works on the right of the Pike road, to prevent the enemy from throwing a force into them. I remained in these works until ordered to follow the division toward the United States Ford.

That night I halted with the division, being on its left; put out strong pickets, and rested until about two hours before daylight of May 4, when I received orders to throw one regiment forward upon each of two roads running toward the ridge occupied by the enemy in the rear of Chancellorsville. I sent forward the Fifth Florida on the road leading by Grady's house, and the Second Florida about half a mile farther to the left, throwing forward a connected line of skirmishers in front of the two regiments. These skirmishers encountered the enemy's pickets in considerable force, but they offered feeble resistance, and were pressed back 1 or 1 1/2 miles to the enemy's intrenchments. I was


Page 875 Chapter XXXVII. THE CHANCELLORSVILLE CAMPAIGN.
OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 25, Part 1 (Chancellorsville)
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