tially that of the commanding officer of the Second Brigade. No report has been received by me from any commanding officer of a regiment, and I am, therefore, obliged to make this as a preliminary report, the defects of which will be supplied hereafter in case anything in the reports of those officers (when I see them) should require notice.
The division crossed the Rappahannock River at 1 a. m. on the morning of April 29, and the same day marched to the Rapidan, which it crossed the same night at Germanna Ford.
On April 30, the division moved to a point on the Turnpike road from Fredericksburg to Gordonsville, running through Chancellorsville, near where another road (sometimes called Brock's road) intersects it. Both where roads were carefully reconnoitered by the major-general commanding the corps, accompanied by myself, to a distance of from 4 to 6 miles out from the position taken by the division, and pickets placed upon them, extending on Brock's road about 3 miles out. After this reconnaissance, the line of the Second Brigade was formed along the Turnpike road, facing south toward the Plank road, which intersected the Turnpike road about three-fourths of a mile to our left, the right resting on a woods. Beyond, but in the edge of the same woods, half a mile farther to the right, the First Brigade, under Colonel von Gilsa, was formed at right angles, facing to the west, connection between the two being kept by half a regiment. All the regiments of the division were thus in line, with the exception of those used in picketing and two which were used, by order of the major-general commanding the corps, as a reserve in another part of the line. The division remained in this position during this day and until the night of May 1, when, by orders of the major-general commanding, communicated through Major [Charles H.] Howard, the brigade of Colonel von Gilsa was drawn in, so that it connected by the left with the Second Brigade. Two of his regiments formed in a prolongation of the line of the Second Brigade, and the remainder formed across from the Turnpike road to the Brock road, facing westerly, as before. A section of a battery was planted upon the road facing west, and supported by the infantry of the First Brigade.
During the night of the 1st, rifle-pits were constructed along the front of the Second Brigade, under the direction of Major [Ernest F.] Hoffmann, chief engineer of the Eleventh Army Corps. A picket line was thrown out at a distance of from half a mile to a mile, and stretching well around, covering our right flank, the pickets on Brock's road still remaining in position. The two regiments taken from my division on the previous day having been returned to me, I had now in reserve the Seventy-fifth and Twenty-fifth Ohio.
During the forenoon of May 2, the line was visited and the dispositions for defense carefully inspected by the major-general commanding the army, accompanied by the major-general commanding the Eleventh Corps. Some slight alterations suggested by General howard were immediately adopted.
About 11 a. ml. a large moving column, in which could plainly be distinguished infantry, artillery, cavalry, and wagons, was seen moving rapidly from a point to the left of our position toward our right, with the evident intention of either passing around our right or of retreating. Of this fact the major-general commanding the corps was immediately apprised by me, but he had already become aware of it.
Shortly after, skirmishing took place along the line of my Second Brigade, caused by some rebel cavalry, indicating the vicinity of the enemy's pickets. Soon after, 2 men, who stated that they had been