War of the Rebellion: Serial 039 Page 0800 N. VA., W. VA., MD., AND PA. Chapter XXXVII.

Search Civil War Official Records

The left, being re-enforced, finally succeeded in driving back the enemy, and the artillery under Lieutenant-Colonels [T. H.] Carter and [H. P.] Jones being thrown forward to occupy favorable positions secured by the advance of the infantry, began to play with great precision and effect. Anderson, in the meantime, pressed gallantly forward directly upon Chancellorsville, his right resting upon the Plank road and his left extending around toward the furnace, while McLaws made a strong demonstration to the right of the road. As the troops advancing upon the enemy's front and right converged upon his central position, Anderson effected a junction with jackson's corps, and the whole line pressed irresistibly on. The enemy was driven from all his fortified positions, with heavy loss in killed, wounded, prisoners, and retreated toward the Rappahannock. By 10 a. m. we were in full possession of the field.

The troops, having become somewhat scattered by the difficulties of the ground and the ardor of the contest, were immediately reformed preparatory to renewing the attack. The enemy had withdraw to a strong position nearer to the Rappahannock, which he had previously fortified. His superiority of numbers, the unfavorable nature of the ground, which was densely wooded, and the condition of our troops after the arduous and sanguinary conflict in which they had been engaged, rendered great caution necessary. Our preparation were just compelled when further operations were arrested by intelligence received from Fredericksburg.

General Early his front and moving up the river, to join the main body of the army with so much of his command as could be spared from the defense of his lines. This order was repeated on the 2nd, but by a misapprehension on the part of the officer conveying it, General Early was directed to move unconditionally. Leaving Hays' brigade and move one regiment of Barksdale's at Fredericksburg, and directing a part of General Pendleton's artillery to be sent to the rear, in compliance with the order delivered to him, General Early moved with the rest of his command toward Chancellorsville. As soon as his withdrawal was perceived, the enemy began to give evidence of an intention to advance, but the mistake in the transmission of the order being corrected, General Early returned to his original position.

The line to be defended by barksdale's brigade extended from the Rappahannock, above Fredericksburg, to the rear of Howison's house, a distance of more than 2 miles. The artillery was posted along the heights in rear of the town.

Before dawn on the morning of the 3rd, General Barksdale reported to General Early that the enemy had occupied Fredericksburg in large force and laid down a bridge at the town. Hays' brigade was sent to his support, and placed on his extreme left, with the exception of one regiment stationed on the right of his line behind Howison's house. Seven companies of the Twenty-first Mississippi Regiment were posted by General barksdale between the Marve house and the Plank road, the Eighteenth and the three other companies of the Twenty-first occupied the Telegraph road at the foot of Marye's Hill, the two remaining regiments of the brigade being farther to the right, on the hills near Howison's house. The enemy made a demonstration against the extreme right, which was easily repulsed by General Early. Soon afterward a column moved from Fredericksburg along the river bank, as if to gain the heights on the extreme left, which commanded those immediately in rear of the town. This attempt was foiled by General Hays