War of the Rebellion: Serial 040 Page 0379 Chapter XXXVII. CORRESPONDENCE,ETC.-UNION.

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[1.15 p.m., by orders to United States Ford; thence by telegraph.]

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, May 3, 1863-3.30 p.m.

(Received 4 p.m.)

His Excellency ABRAHAM LINCOLN,

President of the United States:

We have had a desperate fight yesterday and to-day, which has resulted in no success to us, having lost a position of two lines, which had been selected for our defense. It is now 1.30 o'clock, and there is still some firing of artillery. We may have another turn at it this p.m. I do not despair of success. If Sedgwick could have gotten up, there could have been but one result. As it is impossible for me to know the exact position of Sedgwick as regards his ability to advance and take part in the engagement, I cannot tell when it will end. We will endeavor to do our best. My troops are in good spirits. We have fought desperate to-day. No general ever commanded a more devoted army.

JOSEPH HOOKER,

Major-General.

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, May 3, 1863-8 p.m.

His Excellency ABRAHAM LINCOLN,

President of the United States:

I have had no time to advise you. We have to-day here over 800 prisoners; six guns handsomely taken at the point of the bayonet. I can give no general idea of how affairs stand. Last reports all quiet in front of Chancellorsville, and Sedgwick fighting at 6.15 p.m. Will try after awhile to advise you if an interval occurs.

DANL. BUTTERFIELD,

Major-General, Chief of Staff.

MAY 3, 1863-2 p.m.

General BUTTERFIELD:

Your dispatch respecting Gibbon just received. I shall send over a party, and push it forward for information. I sent word to General Benham that the way seemed clear; that boats could be sent over. General Owen to throw over some men. If the crest between us and Fredericksburg has been passed, some of our troops should have shown themselves or kept us advised. They have not. General Hooker sent for artillery ammunition. One fourth of that for the 10-pounder, 3-inch, and Napoleon guns, which is in the Reserve Artillery train, to be sent to this point. Yet it seems to me that if it can be crossed at Fredericksburg, the Plank road, if clear, would be the best way. I have said nothing about artillery with you, but stated that if Gibbon and mounted the plateau and I could find out where the enemy was in his front, I might aid him by fire here, if the enemy was between us and the river.

HENRY J. HUNT.

MAY 3, 1863-2 p.m.

General HUNT:

General Gibbon, right of Sedgwick's advance, should be about 2 or 3 miles from Fredericksburg, moving toward Chancellorsville. We cannot