War of the Rebellion: Serial 039 Page 1005 Chapter XXXVII. THE CHANCELLORSVILLE CAMPAIGN.

Search Civil War Official Records

ground over which the troops had advanced, and the mingling of the first and second lines of battle, the formation of the troops had become very much confused, and different regiments, brigades, and divisions were mixed up together. In order to be ready to renew the conflict at daylight, it was necessary to reform them in proper order, and a portion of General A. P. Hill's troops having moved to the front, I ordered the different brigades of my division to form near the log hospital, which was occupied by the enemy's wounded, and to draw a fresh supply of ammunition. The Fourth Brigade was formed on the left of the Plank road, the others on the right. The First, which had been detached in the evening, not having yet rejoined, was some distance in the rear.

The troops were hardly reformed and placed in position, when the enemy opened about 10 o'clock a furious fire of shot, shell, and canister, sweeping down the Plank road and the woods on each side. A number of artillery horses, some of them without drivers, and a great many infantry soldiers belonging to other commands, rushed down the road in wild disorder; but, although many casualties occurred at this time in my division, the troops occupied their positions with the utmost steadiness.

It was at this time that General Nicholls, of the Louisiana Brigade (Fourth), a gallant and accomplished officer, had his left leg torn off by a shell, and was carried off the field. The command of his brigade devolved upon Colonel J. M. Williams, who, during the following day, discharged with zeal and gallantry the duties of brigade commander.

It was also about the same time that our great and good and eve-to-be-lamented corps commander fell, under the fire of some of the men of General Lane's brigade.

A desultory firing continued at irregular intervals during the night, and the wearied troops had but small opportunity to obtain the repose which was so needful for the task of the next day.

General J. R. Jones, owing to the alcerated condition of one of his legs, was compelled to leave the field about 11 o'clock, and Colonel T. S. Garnett assumed command of his brigade.

Early on Sunday morning, orders were given to the division to form at right angles to the Plank road, near the log house occupied as a hospital by the enemy, Colston's and Jones' brigades on the right of the road and Paxton's and Nicholls' on the left, in second line. As soon as it was broad daylight, the battle commenced with fury. Our troops advanced from the breastworks running perpendicular to the Plank road, and charged the enemy up the hill, but were driven back by the enemy, who were strongly re-enforced. Colston's brigade, under Colonel T. V. Williams, immediately advanced to the support of the first line and became hotly engaged. Colonel T. V. Williams being wounded, and Lieutenant-Colonel [S. T.] Walker, who succeeded him in the command of the brigade, being killed, the command devolved first upon Lieutenant-Colonel [S. D.] Thruston, Third North Carolina Regiment, and he being wounded, Lieutenant-Colonel [H. A.] Brown, First North Carolina, assumed command.

Here Colonel [John A.] McDowell, First North Carolina Regiment, was wounded, and Major [Joshua] Stover, Tenth Virginia Regiment, was killed.

By this time the enemy were advancing in very strong force toward the right of our line and of the breastworks, and were about outflanking us on the right. Seeing this danger, I sent Mr. Grogan, of General Trimble's staff, to order Paxton's brigade to move by the right flank across