War of the Rebellion: Serial 039 Page 0862 N. VA., W. VA., MD., AND PA. Chapter XXXVII.

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Reports of Brigadier General William Mahone, C. S. Army, commanding brigade.


May 27, 1863.

MAJOR: I beg leave to report the operations of this brigade with that of General Posey, had been stationed near the United States Ford for the purpose of defending that crossing of the Rappahannock.

On Wednesday, April 29, it was reported to me that the enemy had made his appearance in force at the Germanna and Ely's corrsings of the Rapidan. This appearance of the enemy upon our flank and rear rendered our position at the United States Ford no longer tenable, and with a view to checking his advance upon the flank of our army, as was now clearly discrened to be his aim, the two brigades-General Posey's and mine-were immediately placed in position near Chancellorsville, so as to cover the roads from the Germanna and Ely's crossings of the Rapidan and that of the United States Ford, uniting at Chancellorsville.

In the meantime our camps, stores, equipage, transportation,and sick were sent to the rear, and without any material loss of any of them.

The brigades occupied their position at Chancellorsville a indicated until next morning (Thursday, the 30th instant), when, under the direction of the major-general commanding the division (who had happily joined us during the night), they fell back on the United States Mine road, this brigade at and covering the crossing by that road of the old turnpike. Before leaving our position at Chancellorsville, however, the enemy's cavalry advance on the Ely's Ford road had made its appearance, and after a precipitate advance upon our pickets (capturing several), he subsequently came upon our rear guard-the Twelfth Virginia Infantry, Lieutenant-Colonel [E. M.] Feild commanding-was repulsed, and so effectually as to leave us free from any further annoyance during the change of position to which I have already referred, and then in process of execution. Shortly after we had taken up our new line at the intersection of the Mine and Turnpike roads, the enemy came down the turnpike in considerable force of cavalry and infantry, but nothing occurred at this point beyond a little skirmishing with his sharpshooters and reconnoitering parties.

The next day (Friday, May 1) this brigade led on the Turnpike road in the general advance of our forces, and very shortly engaged the enemy under General Sykes, when we had quite a brisk little engagement-artillery and infantry-Major-General McLaws commanding. The enemy (United States Regulars, many of whom we captured) was promptly repulsed, and our line of battle, now formed, was moved rapidly forward to a point on the turnpike south of Chancellorsville about 1 1/4 miles, known as McGee's. This brigade continued here with Major-General McLaws' force, confronting the enemy's line of battle in that quarter, until the next day, when it was transferred, and occupied our front line, immediately on the left of the Plank road. In this position we continued up to the fall of Chancellorsville, engaging the enemy more or less warmly as the progress of General Jackson's operations on his flank and rear seemed to call for, and as the range of his (General Jackson's) enfilading fire would allow. It was during this service