On the 5th instant, about 10 a. m., we commenced our labor, and continued during the day a portion of the night.
On the morning of Wednesday, the 6th instant, we were ordered to cross the river at the United States Ford, and effected our crossing about 5 a. m., and proceeded by way of Hartwood Church, pursuing the same course we had taken on our march to Kelly's Ford, arriving within 8 miles of Stafford Court-House that evening, where we bivouacked.
The next morning, the 7th instant, we took up the line of march, and arrived at the old camp near Aquia Creek Landing about 3 p. m.
Lieutenant Colonel, Commanding 124th Pennsylvania Volunteers.
Captain JOHN P. GREEN,
Numbers 296. Report of Colonel Jacob Higgins, One hundred and twenty-fifth Pennsylvania Infantry.
HDQRS. 125TH Regiment PENNSYLVANIA VOLUNTEERS,
May 10, 1863.
SIR: I have the honor to report, as commander of the One hundred and twenty-fifth Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers, that when the order came to prepare for the late campaign, the most encouraging enthusiasm was manifested by the officers and men of this regiment; and notwithstanding the nearness of the expiration of our term of service, the anticipation cherished by the men of shortly visiting their old homes, and the anxiety and solicitude to see and embrace their friends once again, they set about the work with a cheerful determination and alacrity manifested only by freemen who have the best interests of their country at heart. Scarcely a murmur or dissenting complaint was known to emanate from an individual member of the regiment. Even some who were sick refused to stay behind, and marched as long as their strength would sustain them, when, contrary to their own desires, they were obliged to fall to the rear. Only the most sanguine hopes of an honorable and speedy termination of this bloody strife and a heartfelt desire for peace and national prosperity could have stimulated the men to act so cheerfully and promptly.
The battle-ground of Chancellorsville was reached on April 30, and the regiment was encamped, in company with the rest of the brigade, nearly half a mile south of the brick house known as Chancellorsville, by a road leading west from the Gordonsville and Fredericksburg Plank road, afterward proving to be the left center of the line of battle.
On Friday morning, May 1, regiment, with the division, advanced nearly a mile, and after engaging the enemy, which we found in considerable force, and fighting the greater portion of the day, we retired to the camp we occupied the previous night, and immediately commenced erecting fortifications of brush, saplings, under wood, and dirt, using our hatchets and knives instead of axes, bayonets and pointed sticks for picks, and tin plates and hands as substitutes for shovels. With these we raised a double row of fortifications, inclosing the road on each side, the front rank lying in the road and occupying the front entrenchments and the rear rank occupying the work on the right of