Between 8 and 9 o'clock we took up our line of march across and to the left of the Plank road, and by the way of Welford's Iron Forge, the enemy shelling us as we passed; thence, by a circuitous route of some 8 or 10 miles, we reached the Turnpike road leading from Orange Court-House to Fredericksburg, and about dark of the 2nd instant came upon the right flank and to the rear of the enemy, and for a short time were exposed to very severe shelling, by which we lost several killed and wounded. We were then drawn up in line of battle on the left of the turnpike, our right resting on the road, and ordered to charge the enemy's battery, some distance in our front. We had not advanced far (being informed that there was no one but the enemy in front of us) before General A. P. Hill and staff, who had been fired upon by the enemy, rushed upon our line in order to effect their escape, when our men, thinking it was a cavalry charge from the enemy, fired several rounds at them, doing some damage before the mistake was discovered. Very soon the enemy opened fire upon us, killing and wounding several of our men. We were then ordered across and to the right of the turnpike, and formed about 300 yards from and perpendicular to the road.
During the night the enemy advanced upon us twice, and each time he was repulsed in handsome style. We captured 3 prisoners, one a lieutenant and aide to General [A. S.] Williams.
Early on the morning of the 3rd instant, we were ordered forward to charge the enemy's breastworks and a battery mounting twenty-eight guns. The men moved forward in good order. The first line of works was carried without hinderance or damage; then we advanced to within a few yards of the second line of works, and about 200 yards of the battery mounting twenty-eight guns, when the enemy opened upon us a most terrific and galling fire of grape, shell, and Minie balls. We held our ground, suffering very severely, for about half an hour, when the enemy, being heavily re-enforced, turned the right of our line, leaving our right flank exposed. We were then ordered to fall back, and just then our gallant colonel (T. J. Purdie), encouraging his men both by word and example, was killed instantly by a Minie ball passing directly through his forehead. We were then taken back and formed on the left of the turnpike, and the regiment acted as skirmishers for most of the time until the battle was ended. Both officers and men behaved well throughout the entire engagement.
Our casualties during the whole time were 34 killed, 99 wounded, and 21 missing.*
All of which is respectfully submitted.
Lieutenant Colonel, Commanding 18th Regiment North Carolina Troops.
Brigadier General JAMES H. LANE.
Numbers 356. Report of Colonel Samuel D. Lowe, Twenty-eighth North Carolina Infantry.
MAY 8, 1863.
SIR: I have the honor to submit the following report of the part taken by my regiment in the battle of Chancellorsville:
By command of General Lane, I formed on the right of the brigade
* But see Guild's report, p. 807.