War of the Rebellion: Serial 039 Page 0704 Chapter XXXVII. N. VA., W. VA., MD., AND PA.

Search Civil War Official Records

had been made to erect a foot-bridge across the steam, which, seeming not to succeed, and being very desirous to avoid having the men get wet, I personally proposed to General Slocum commanding the corps, to take men from my command and erect a bridge for the passage of the troops, which proposition was accepted, and competent men were detailed immediately, and put under charge of Captain O. S. Hall, of my command, and a bridge was immediately erected, so that all the troops in the rear passed over, as well as the pack-mules accompanying the troops. The troops encamped on the south of the Rapidan.

On the 30th the march was resumed along the Plank road toward Chancellorsville. At the Wilderness, 4 or 5 miles north of Chancellorsville, I was ordered by Colonel Ross, commanding the brigade, to file my regiment up a road leading to the right, which ran perpendicularly to our line of march, for the purpose of re-enforcing a regiment (the Twenty-eighth Pennsylvania) posted in the woods about three-quarters of a mile distant, to guard the train against an attack from cavalry of the enemy.

While marching up the road by the flank, right in front, the enemy opened a rapid fire upon us with tow pieces of artillery from the woods, which they had planted in the road, commanding our whole column. Having had no intimation that there was any artillery in the neighborhood, my command was exposed to great peril in marching up this road. Orders were immediately given to move by the right, and we were quickly formed into column of companies, right in front, in the field on the left of the road. Availing ourselves of a cover from a ravine in this field, running parallel to the road, we continued our march toward the enemy, they still turning their fire upon us. As soon as we reached the border of the woods, I formed a line of battle, and deployed two companies of skirmishers in the woods, when the fire of the enemy ceased. On making a reconnaissance, it was found that the enemy had left. The Twenty-eighth Pennsylvania then returned to our rear, and we remained in this position, with our skirmishers out, for about two hours, when, the train having passed, we returned to the road. Resumed our march; reached Chancellorsville that evening, and encamped in the woods in line of battle, making an abatis in front.

On Friday, my command went with the division out to the front, formed in line of battle in mass, and remained under fire until ordered to return to their intrenchments, which it did about 3 p. m., when I was ordered with my regiment to do picket duty for the brigade. A company from this command had been on duty the night before, and this company was ordered to proceed to re-establish the line as it existed in the morning before being called out. The regiment taking position under cover of a hill, while the company was approaching the picket line left in the morning, the enemy opened a fire of musketry from the woods, where, in our absence, they had established rifle-pits and erected a battery. My men deployed as skirmishers among the bushes and held their ground. The company thus deployed was Company I, under command of its officers. Another company (A) was sent to re enforce the first company, and the regimen was moved rapidly to the brow of a hill in front of the enemy, near a house and within 200 yards of the lines formed by the two companies. These two companies maintained a spirited fire with the enemy at times (being supported by the men in the rear) for about two hours.

In the meantime the battery of the enemy was engaged with the battery on our left, which becoming disabled, the enemy turned their battery upon our regiment, and a large force rushed out of the woods