Numbers 366. Report of Brigadier General W. D. Pender, C. S. Army, commanding brigade.
CAMP GREGG, VA., May 14, 1863.
GENERAL: I have the honor to make the following report of the part taken by my brigade in the battle of Chancellorsville:
Having arrived upon the right of the enemy's position May 2, I was ordered to form line of battle upon the left of the road leading to Chancellorsville, in rear and in support of a line formed by part of Colston's division. In this order we advanced some distance, when orders were received to enter the road again and push on by the flank, in which order I moved until reaching the advanced position of our troops. Here, after my men were subjected to a most galling and destructive shelling from the batteries near Chancellorsville, I moved my regiments in to the left and formed line of battle, my right resting upon the road. Before I had completed my formation, I found that my troops occupied the most advanced position of our forces. Skirmishers were thrown out to the front, and in this position we remained until the general advance was ordered early next morning (May 3).
My line had not advanced more than 150 yards before the firing became very heavy, but my men continued to advance, and soon it became apparent that the enemy were posted behind a breastwork of logs and brush. This we carried without once hesitating. Beyond the breastworks the resistance again became very obstinate, as if we had come in contact with a frest line (but let me here say that the thickness of the undergrowth very much obstructed the view of operations the whole of this day), and this, in its turn, was driven back after a short contest; but farther on the resistance became so great from their infantry force, and the tremendous fire from artillery on my right regiments, that they were forced to fall back, but rallied at the breastworks about 150 yards in our rear. My left regiment (Thirteenth North Carolina) not being subjected to the artillery fire, did not fall back, but continued to advance for a long distance with the brigade on my left, and in this advance Lieutenant [John R.] Ireland, Company E, Thirteenth North Carolina, rushed gallantly forward, and captured Brigadier-General Hays and staff, who were endeavoring to escape. Corpl. Monroe Robinson, Company A, Thirteenth North Carolina, also about this time chased a color-bearer so closely that he tore off the colors, and threw down the staff, which was secured.
After the other four regiments fell back to the breastworks and were reformed, I advanced again, the men going forward with alacrity; but, after penetrating the woods about the same distance as before, had to fall back again. This, to some extent, was unavoidable, as our line on the right of the road had been driven back about this time, and the men thus found that the enemy were at least 100 yards in rear of them, on the opposite side of the road. The Thirteenth North Carolina, on the left, after advancing a long ways to the front, was finally compelled to fall back for want of support and ammunition, which it did in good order. When my line was forced back the second time, supports came up and took the advance. My men were about out of ammunition, broken down, and badly cut up, having lost about 700 officers and men in the short time we had been engaged. What field officers were left collected the men after they had fallen behind the front line, and were engaged at different times during the fight. Knowing the ground pretty well by this time, I remained in the fight with whatever troops