sudden rush upon our lines, seizing our advanced skirmishers, drawing our fire, and getting the location of our line and its strength. These operations were repeated at intervals, gradually extending to our right.
Later in the day the enemy became visible from our line to the right of Fairview, moving off still to our right. General Sickles, with two of his divisions of the Third Corps, was sent out to make a demonstration against this body, and he succeeded in capturing numerous prisoners, cut off from the rear of Jackson's corps. General Pleasonton, with his cavalry and artillery, also moved out in this same direction, following General Sickles, and the effect of this was to place a considerable force of ours between the two wings of the rebel army. I was near this part of the field about 5 p. m., when a heavy firing of musketry began on our right, and I hastened to the spot.
The Eleventh Corps infantry, on their left, made no stand at all behind its breastworks, but ran away while yet the enemy's bullets scarcely reached them, and while their own artillery, heroically served, still held the enemy in check. I tried in vain to assist some of the officers in rallying their men, but soon saw it was a waste of precious time. I immediately sent my aide to inform Generals Pleasonton and Sickles of the rout of the Eleventh Corps, which task he promptly executed, and the enemy's advance soon began to slacken from the effective fire poured in upon his right flank.
I then proceeded to Fairview, where Captain Best, chief of artillery of the Twelfth Corps, had already trained all his available guns to meet the advancing enemy. I placed all the artillery I could find pointing in the same direction, with orders to fire solid shot over the heads of our troops upon the enemy, and left the whole in charge of Captain Best. To the credit of the artillery of the Eleventh Corps that came off the field, it went into battle on this line with the greatest alacrity.
Before this was completed, General Berry's division, unaffected by the fleeing crowds around it, moved up in the most perfect order, and held the crest, which I have before mentioned as commanding the field between Fairview and Chancellorsville. General William Hays, with a brigade of the Second Corps, took up the line on the right of General Berry. With this combination, General Jackson's assault was stayed and he himself mortally wounded.
This flank move in our very presence which General Lee had decided upon, and the execution of which he had intrusted to General Jackson, was one of great risk under almost any circumstances. On the present occasion it offered more advantages than it generally does. His army found its line of intrenchments on which so much labor had been bestowed, and on the strength of which he had so far relied as to submit to the detailing of a large force under General Longstreet for operations south of James River, most unexpectedly turned and rendered of no value, and he was in the presence of an army greatly outnumbering his. A retreat in good order toward Richmond would seem to be a satisfactory escape from the situation. Advancing, then, promptly, as he had done on the 1st, he was prepared to dispute with us the possession of Banks' Ford, which would have brought the two wings of our army together and gained time.
Our falling back to Chancellorsville left us with a divided army, and our lying quiet enabled him to accumulate his force on our right flank, where he could make his most threatening assault, and where, i case of a repulse, he would have two main lines of retreat open to him, the left wing over the Plank road to Gordonsville, the other by the direct road south, and both uniting again at our next objective point, Richmond. Its conception was well adapted to the situation, and its execu-