War of the Rebellion: Serial 039 Page 0865 Chapter XXXVII. THE CHANCELLORSVILLE CAMPAIGN.

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Numbers 328. Report of Brigadier General A. R. Wright, C. S. Army, commanding brigade.


May 13, 1863.

MAJOR: I herewith inclose a report of the part taken by my brigade in the recent engagements near Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville, together with a correct list of casualties sustained by this command.

At 10.15 a.m. on the 29th ultimo, I received orders to move with my command to or near Hamilton's Crossing, and within supporting distance of General Early's left. I immediately put my brigade in motion, and at 12 m. reached the position indicated, with my right near to Early's left. Here I remained until late in the afternoon, when, in obedience to orders from Major-General Anderson, I moved my command near to his headquarters on the Military road. Here were bivouacked, as we hoped, for the night, but at 12 o'clock, I was ordered to move rapidly with my command to Chancellorsville, distant some 12 or 15 miles, where I would report to Major-General Anderson. During a drenching rain and impenetrable darkness, we commenced the march, and, moving by the Fredericksburg and Orange Plank road, at daylight on Thursday, May 30, I reported in person the arrival of my brigade at Chancellorsville. Here I received orders to retrace my steps and fall back toward Fredericksburg as far as the crossing of the Old Mine road on the Plank road, and there await the approach of the enemy, then reported as advancing in heavy force by the Ely's Ford and Germanna roads.

At 8 a.m. I reached the desired position, and formed line of battle on a range of hills in rear of Hopewell Nursery, with my right resting upon the Plank road. My men had marched 27 miles in less thann twenty-one hours, and most of the time in a heavy rain and through deep mud, and when I halted were almost completely exhausted. After a hasty reconnaissance of the position, I concluded to change my line to the crest of a range of hills upon which the small-pox hospital and an old church were situated and about three-fourths of a mile in rear of my first position. Here I formed as before, with my right resting upon the Plank road and my left upon the Fredericksburg and Gordonsville Railroad. During the afternoon, having received a few intrenching tools, I commenced digging a line of rifle-pits in front of my position, and, by working during the whole night, I had by 7 o'clock on Friday morning my entire line well protected, having also during the night kept a detail at work throwing up an epaulement for two pieces of artillery on the right of the Plank road.

No enemy having appeared in sight in front of my position, at about noon on Friday, May 1, I was ordered to move my brigade up the Plank road, and, feeling for the enemy to drive him before me, should he be found. Having proceeded about 1 mile, my skirmishers became engaged with the enemy's advance who began very soon to give way, while I pressed forward with the main body of my command until, having reached within 1 1/2 or 2 miles of Chancellorsville, I discovered the enemy in considerable force occupying a position on both sides of the Plank road, along the skirt of a heavy forest, with a large clearing in his front. At this point by command of Lieutenant-General Jackson, [E. P.] Alexander's battalion of artillery was placed in position, and, supported by my brigade, opened a heavy fire upon the enemy's line. Meanwhile I threw forward a strong body of skirmishers from the