It is meet that I should gratefully acknowledge the protecting hand of Almighty Gow which shielded so many amid greet dangers.
I have the honor to be, captain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
DANIEL H. CHRISTIE,
Captain D. P. HALSEY, Assistant Adjutant-General.
MAY 8, 1863.
SIR: I have the honor to submit the following report of the operations of my command in the battle of Chancellorsville on the 3rd instant:
I was ordered about sunrise to form my regiment on the left of Rodes' brigade. Having for the night occupied a line nearly perpendicular to it, I immediately swung round by a wheel to the right, and formed forward on the prolongation of its line of battle, and before the other regiments of our brigade had executed the change of front, I commenced to advance with the movement from the right, and sent Acting Adjutant [J. B.] French to notify Brigadier-General Iverson. We had advanced perhaps a mile under a heavy artillery fire, receiving some injury from the enemie's infantry, when we found our advance lines giving way, and strong line of the enemy confronting us. I dispatched Sergeant-Major [T. F.] Powell to ascertain if the rest of the brigade was up. He found the Twentieth and Twelfth North Carolina on our left.
Meanwhile I opened upon the enemy and, finding him stubborn, ordered a charge, which was splendidly obeyed, and succeeded in breaking his line and driving him hundred yards to a heavy supporting line occupying a position well protected. With them we had a hard tug for about a half hour. I examined tue situation as well as I could. My right was now within 60 yards of the Plank road, and nearly opposite the flank their heavy battery, which had proved so formidable to the advance of the troops on the right of the road. My left and the other two regiments had advanced too far, but I quickly decided that others had charge of and would attend to any threatening movement from that quarter, and that I was free to act only with reference to what was in my front. I concentrated the fire of my right companies on the battery, which very soon silenced them. As soon as I perceived them making an effort to move these guns, I gave the order to charge. But, alas, our left had not been taken care of. The regiments on my left came doubling back upon my line, pressed with overwhelming numbers, whom line had been formed to the left and perpendicular to ours.
Here I can but note the pride I feel in the gallant officers and men of my command. Amid a terrific front and flank fire, the right companies crossed the road, rushed forward, and gained the enemy's guns. The left companies, contesting every inch of ground, stubbornly fought and fell in the very presence of the enemy.
A number were captured, among them the gallant Major [C. C.] Blacknall, Lieutenants, [John T.] Bullock and [John A.] Caldwell.
Some other troops (I think of Rodes' and Pender's brigades) reached the batteries nearly simultaneously with us, but altogether not in sufficient force to hold them against the concentrated flank fire of the enemy in large force; and most unfortunately, for it saved the enemy many gun and prisoners. Falling back, I found the Fifth North Carolina posted along the barricade held by the enemy in the morning. Not having been in action with them and other troops I assisted in driving back this force ont he left of the road.
63 R R-VOL XXV, PT I