War of the Rebellion: Serial 039 Page 0378 N.VA., W.VA., MD., AND PA. Chapter XXXVII.

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No. 103. Report of Major John T. Hill, Twelfth New Jersey Infantry.


COLONEL: I have the honor to report the action of the Twelfth Regiment New Jersey Volunteers during the actions on May 2 and 3, near Chancellorsville, Va., to be as follows:

On the afternoon of the 2nd instant, while in bivouac near General French's headquarters, Colonel Willets received orders to move, in light marching order, upon the road toward the Chancellor house. We formed line in the wood to the left of the road, the right of this regiment resting upon the road in the rear of the mansion house. Shortly after we were in line, Colonel Willets received orders to move up the Gordonsville road to the support of Berry's division. The regiment was moved at the double-quick upon this road receiving as they moved, some shells from two pieces of artillery (rebel) planted in the road, and were filed in the wood to the right of the road. The line was formed in the rear of the First Brigade of Berry's division, the Fourteenth Connecticut Volunteers upon our right and the One hundred and eighth New York Volunteers upon our left. During the night we received a few shells, wounding 2 or 3 men on the left of the battalion.

At daylight on the morning of the 3rd instant, the attack began. Before we were unmasked, Colonel Willets received a wound from a rifle-ball, and was taken from the field. I then took command. Shortly after, the enemy poured in a destructive fire upon our right flank, the regiment upon that flank having given way. My men returned the fire with spirit, but were forced to give way, which they did slowly and in good order, until the line had swung around to nearly a right angle with the original line. This position they maintained for some time, but were finally forced back about 100 yards, where they again made a stand. They here fought until the ranks were greatly disordered, and we were immediately in front of the infantry line supporting the batteries. I then gave the order to withdraw, in order to reform the battalion. This was done upon the field to the left of the road from the river, out which we had moved when going to the field, forming the men behind the One hundred and thirtieth Pennsylvania Volunteers.

We remained in this position until 4 o'clock on the afternoon of the 3rd, when we took a position in line, with the One hundred and thirtieth Pennsylvania on the right and the One hundred and eighth New York on our left, immediately in the rear of the First Brigade, Third Division, Second Corps, in which position we remained until withdrawn on the morning of the 6th instant.

Our casualties comprise 1 officer and 23 men killed, 6 officers and 126 men wounded, and 22 men missing.

I am, colonel, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Major, Commanding Twelfth New Jersey Volunteers.


Commanding Second Brigade, Third Division, Second Army Corps.