War of the Rebellion: Serial 039 Page 0385 Chapter XXXVII. THE CHANCELLORSVILLE CAMPAIGN.

Search Civil War Official Records

with Whipple, toward the United States Ford, who was directed to connect by outposts with Berry, who, in turn, reached the river. Graham soon reported that Major General Howard occupied the tavern as his headquarters; that General Howard picketed on our right and to the rear, and that, as he had no orders to move and needed no assistance, General Howard suggested there might be some mistake in Graham's order, and meanwhile directed him to halt near the tavern and wait further orders. Berry and Whipple established a line of outposts, with strong supports, from the Plank road to the United States Ford.

At 4 p.m. the general-in-chief directed me to bring forward my whole command, except Mott, who still protected the ford, and get rapidly into position parallel to the Plank road at Chancellorsville. Graham was recalled at once, Whipple's and Berry's outposts were withdrawn, and, with celerity and precision of movement never surpassed, Birney, with Ward's and Hayman's brigades, formed in two lines, and Berry's and Whipple's were massed in column of battalions in the open ground north and to the right of Chancellorsville, the near of the column covered by the woods. Graham had barely reported to me when I sent him, under a brisk and well-directed artillery fire, to support Major-General Slocum, who was apprehensive about his position at Fairview. Toward sunset, Birney, with Ward's and Hayman's brigades, moved up the Plank road near the junction of the left flank of the Eleventh Corps with the right of the Twelfth Corps, and within supporting distance. Finding the right of Major-General Slocum's (Twelfth) weak, Birney, with two brigades, bivouacked in the rear of Slocum's line, throwing out the Twentieth Indiana and Thirty-seventh New York to the front, where they replaced two of the regiments of Williams' division, of the Twelfth Corps. In order to gain some advantageous ground, a strong line of skirmishers was advanced, who quickly dislodged the enemy from the cleared fields and houses in front, giving us the high and commanding position had been holding. Berry's and Whipple's divisions bivouacked at Chancellorsville; Berry's artillery was held in reserve near the Junction of Ely's and the United States Fords roads.

During the night, with the approval of the general-in-chief, General Birney was ordered to occupy at daybreak a portion of the front line on the left of Major-General Howard (Eleventh Corps), extending from the Plank road southwesterly through the Wilderness and connecting with the right of Major-General Slocum (Twelfth Corps), thereby relieving portions of the troops of each of those corps and enabling them to strengthen materially their lines. Accompanying the general-in-chief at sunrise on Saturday in a tour of inspection along our lines on the right flank, I found General Birney, who had also brought up Graham's brigade and Clark's, Randolph's, and Turnbull's batteries, making his dispositions with admirable discernment and skill, holding the crest along Scott's Run, from the farm-house on the left toward Dowdall's Tavern. It is impossible to pass over without mention the irrepressible enthusiasm of the troops for Major-General Hooker, which was evinced in hearty and prolonged cheers as he rode along the lines of the Third, Eleventh, and Twelfth Corps.

On returning to general headquarters, I was directed to make a reconnaissance in front and to the left of Chancellorsville. Major-General Berry was requested to detail for this duty two reliable regiments, led by circumspect and intrepid commanders. The Eleventh Massachusetts, Colonel William Blaisdell commanding, moving out to the left, toward Tabernacle Church, and the Twenty-sixth Pennsylvania, Colonel B. C.