Battle of Chancellorsville

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Battle of Chancellorsville: Virginia and the Civil War

Union Army Report for Battle of Chancellorsville

Chancellorsville, Va., May 1-4, 1863. Army of the Potomac. Gen.
Hooker superseded Gen. Burnside in command of the Army of the Po-
tomac on Jan. 26, 1863. As nothing in the way of active operations
could be undertaken in the dead of winter, more than two months were
spent in getting the army in good condition. During that time it re-
mained in its winter quarters on the left bank of the Rappahannock
river opposite Fredericksburg. It consisted of the 1st, 2nd, 3d, 5th, 6th,
11th and 12th army corps, respectively commanded by Maj.-Gens. John
F. Reynolds, Darius N. Couch, Daniel E. Sickles, George G. Meade,
John Sedgwick, Ohver O. Howard and Henry W. Slocum, and the
cavalry corps, commanded by Brig.-Gen. George Stoneman. In round
numbers Hooker had 111,000 infantry, 11,000 cavalry, and 8,000 artillery,
with 404 guns. Opposed to this force was Lee's army, the Army of
Northern Virginia, made up of the 1st and 2nd army corps. The former
was commanded by Gen. James Longstreet and the latter by Gen.
Thomas J. (Stonewall) Jackson. Longstreet, with two divisions and
two battalions of artillery, was absent in southeastern Virginia, so the
troops with Lee numbered about 57,000 infantry, 3,000 cavalry, and prob-
ably 170 pieces of artillery. This force lay at Fredericksburg, on the
south side of the Rappahannock, where all winter Lee had been watch-
ing the movements of the Federals.

Early in April Hooker advised his officers of his plan of campaign.
Stoneman, with the main body of the cavalry, was to move up the Rappa-
hannock, cross at the upper fords and cut Lee's communication with his
base of supplies at Richmond. After crossing the river the cavalry was
to divide into two columns; one, under Gen. Averell, was to attack
Gordonsville and Culpeper, and the other, command,ed by Gen. Buford,
was to reach the Fredericksburg railroad via Louisa Court House. The
two divisions were then to unite south of the Pamunkey river to harass
Lee's retreat from Fredericksburg, which all felt was sure to come.
Stoneman started on his mission on April 13, but heavy rains had made
the river unfordable and he was compelled to wait until the 28th before
he could effect a crossing. This delay interfered somewhat with the
original plans, but on the evening of the 26th Hooker issued orders for
the corps of Meade. Howard and Slocum to move the next morning in
light marching order for Kelly's ford, 27 miles above Fredericksburg,
where they were to cross, then press rapidly forward, cross the Rapi-
dan, sweep down the southern bank and strike the Confederate army on
the left flank. Couch, with two of his divisions, was to proceed to the
United States ford and be in readiness to cross as soon as the Confed-
erate force there should be driven away by the Federal advance. Gib-
bon's division of this corps was left in camp at Falmouth, where it was
in plain view of the Confederates, and to move it might give Lee some
idea of Hooker's intentions. To further confuse the enemy demonstra-
tions had been made for several days at various points along the river.
To prevent Lee from sending a strong force against the four corps
operating above Fredericksburg Sedgwick, with his own corps and those
of Reynolds and Sickles, was to cross below the town and make a dem-
onstration to draw the attention of the enemy in that direction.

On Monday morning, April 27, the troops moved according to
instructions, and reached Kelly's ford late in the afternoon next day.
A detachment was sent across in boats to drive away the picket guard,
and by daylight the next morning all were over and on the way to the
Rapidan. Stoneman crossed his cavalry at the same time. Pleasonton's
brigade of cavalry, with two batteries, was attached to Slocum's corps,
and this was all of that arm that participated in the battles of Chancel-
lorsville, the rest of Stoneman's command moving toward Culpeper.
Meade crossed the Rapidan at Ely's ford and the other two corps at
Germanna ford, 10 miles above. As soon as Meade's column appeared
on the south side of the Rappahannock opposite the United States ford
Couch threw the pontoons across and passed his two divisions over.
On the afternoon of the 30th the four corps were concentrated at Chan-
cellorsville. Sedgwick waited until the 28th, to give the other division
of the army time to reach Kelly's ford, and then moved down the river
with the 1st, 3d and 6th corps to a point near the old Franklin crossing,
where they bivouacked for the night. Early the next morning the 1st and
6th corps were crossed over, leaving Sickles' corps on the north
side as a reserve and to cover the advance with his artillery. A small
force of the enemy in rifle pits disputed the passage of the river, but a
detachment sent over in boats soon drove them from their position.
The Confederates then contented themselves with shelling the advancing
troops from the batteries on the heights. When it became evident that
no serious attack was to be made on Sedgwick, Sickles' corps was ordered
to join the forces at Chancellorsville and moved on the 30th. Sedgwick
then disposed his forces in such a way as to lead Lee to think a large
body of troops was below the town, and that an attack was likely to
come from that quarter. Had the feint succeeded the story of Chan-
cellorsville might have been differently told. In his report Lee says :
"No demonstration was made opposite any other part of our lines at
Fredericksburg, and the strength of the force that had crossed and its
apparent indisposition to attack indicated that the principal effort of the
enemy would be made in some other quarter. This impression was
confirmed by intelligence received from Gen. Stuart that a large body of
infantry and artillery was passing up the river. During the forenoon
of the 29th, that officer reported that the enemy had crossed in force
near Kelly's ford on the preceding evening. Later in the day he an-
nounced that a heavy column was moving from Kelly's toward Germanna
ford, on the Rapidan, and another toward Ely's ford on that river. The
routes they were pursuing after crossing the Rapidan converge near
Chancellorsville, whence several roads lead to the rear of our position at

This was the first intimation Lee had of Hooker's real purpose.
Upon receipt of this information he sent a despatch to Gen. Anderson,
as follows: "I have received reliable intelligence that the enemy have
crossed the river in force. Why have you not kept me informed? I
wish to see you at my headquarters at once." The bearer of that
despatch was captured by some of the Union cavalry. The cavalry had
also captured a picket, among whom was an engineer officer belonging
to Stuart's staff, and who had in his possession a diary containing the
record of a council, held by the Confederate generals some weeks before,
in which it was decided that the next battle was likely to be fought in
the vicinity of Chancellorsville, and that it would be well to seize and
prepare a position there. This diary and Lee's despatch were turned
over to Hooker by Pleasonton, who suggested that, as Lee was now
advised of the movements of the Union forces and was expecting a fight
at Chancellorsville, it might be good tactics to forestall him by moving
on toward Fredericksburg and selecting a new position. Here was
Hooker's golden opportunity, but he allowed it to pass. Lee remained
in Fredericksburg until the 30th, still uncertain as to Sedgwick's motives,
and fearing to move in either direction until he had a better understand-
ing of the situation. Hooker on the 29th had over 45,000 men, and
Sickles had orders to join him the next day with his corps, numbering
18,000 more. Failing to receive Lee's despatch ordering him to head-
quarters, Anderson retired to Tabernacle Church and commenced in-
trenching. This was the only force to prevent Hooker from pressing
forward, seizing Banks' ford, thus shortening the distance between him-
self and Sedgwick by at least 10 miles, and forcing Lee to meet him at
a disadvantage on ground where the superior numbers of the Federals
meant certain victory.

Late on the 30th Lee became fully convinced that Sedgwick did not
intend to attack. Leaving Early's division and Barksdale's brigade to
hold Fredericksburg, the remainder of the Confederate forces were con-
centrated in front of Hooker. A little after sunrise on May 1 McLaws'
division joined Anderson, and three divisions of Jackson's corps arrived
on the field about 8 o'clock. Three hours later Hooker began his ad-
vance in four columns, each preceded by a detachment of cavalry.
Howard and Slocum moved on the plank road to the right; Sykes'
division of Meade's corps and Hancock's division of Couch's took the
turnpike; the other two divisions of Meade's corps (Humphreys' and
Griffin's) took the river road toward Banks' ford; French's division
was to march south to Todd's tavern, while Sickles' corps was held at
Chancellorsville and Dowdall's tavern as a reserve and to guard the
ford against Fitz Hugh Lee's cavalry. Hooker's object was to form a line
of battle with his left resting on Banks' ford and his right on Tabernacle
Church, which was to be his headquarters. But the ground, which might
have been occupied the day before almost without a struggle, was now
in possession of the enemy. When Jackson reached Tabernacle
Church, he stopped the work of intrenching and moved forward
to meet Hooker. Sykes, therefore, had not proceeded more than a
mile before he encountered McLaws' division deployed on both sides of
the pike. McLaws fell back steadily for a mile, when he was reinforced
by Anderson and Ramseur, and the Confederates now assumed the
offensive. Sykes tried to connect his line with Slocum by throwing out
a regiment as skirmishers, but the movement failed. Anderson suc-
ceeded in getting on his flank, and he was compelled to fall back behind
Hancock, whose command then came to the front and engaged the
enemy. Sykes then secured a strong position, which he was preparing
to hold, when the orders came for all to fall back to the positions they
held early in the morning. Couch and Hancock protested against any-
thing like a retreat. The general position was a good one. The in-
fantry was almost clear of the woods and thickets, and there was plenty
of open space in which the artillery could be used effectively. Gen.
Warren, chief engineer on Hooker's staff, urged Couch and Hancock
to hold their positions until he could consult Hooker, but the latter
would not rescind the order to retire. Subsequently he countermanded
the order and directed the troops to return to their positions, but it was
too late, as the enemy was already in possession of the ridge.

Meantime Meade's column had come within sight of Banks' ford
without seeing anything of the enemy when the order was received to
fall back to Chancellorsville. Both divisions started to return, but
Griffin was ordered to form on Hancock's left, where about 6 p. m.
he aided in repulsing the enemy in an advance on Sykes' position, after
which they went into bivouac for the night. Humphreys was sent to
the extreme left of the line to guard the approaches to the United States
ford. French, who had moved in the morning via Todd's tavern, came
within sight of the Confederates, but was ordered to fall back before
he could engage them. During the afternoon a new line was formed
with Meade on the left toward Fredericksburg facing east; Slocum in
the center facing south, Howard on the right facing west, with Couch
and Sickles in reserve, except one brigade from each division, which
occupied positions in the front line. The left and center were protected
in front by ravines, through which ran small brooks, but on the right
there was nothing but the thickets to hinder a near approach of the
enemy in an attack on Howard. As thus formed the line covered all
the roads passing through Chancellorsville. Late in the day an assault
was made by Wright and Stuart on the advance portion of Slocum's
corps and it was driven back on the main body. Artillery was then
brought up and a heavy fire directed against Slocum, but he held his
position. An artillery fire was also opened on Hancock's line, when
Knap's battery replied with such effectiveness that the Confederates
gave up the attempt to drive the Union troops back by this method.
Owing to the thickets, which screened the Federal army, Lee was at a
loss where to direct his attacks, and the waning hours of the day were
spent in a number of pretended assaults at various points to ascertain,
if possible, just how Hooker's forces were posted. These demonstra-
tions developed the fact that the lines in front of Chancellorsville were
impregnable. Lee and Jackson held a consultation about dark to deter-
mine the course they should pursue on the following day. Stuart had
learned the weakness of the Union right and had communicated his
knowledge to Jackson, who now advised a flank movement against that
part of the line.

During the night the roads were picketed by the Federal cavalry,
while within the lines of both armies could be heard the sound of the
ax as the contending forces engaged in strengthening their fronts by
log breastworks, etc. In some places along the Union line this work
was continued far into the next day. Long before daylight on the
morning of the 3d Jack.son was up and studying a rough map of the
country to find a route to the right and rear of the Union army. An
old resident was found, who pointed out a way, and at sunrise Jackson,
with his three divisions, was on the march. For some distance the
movement was hidden by the dense forest, and then a point was
reached where the by-road ran over a hill in plain view of Sickles' posi-
tion. It was readily seen that it was a movement in force, but as the
road here ran due south and directly away from the Federals, it was
thought the Confederate retreat was begun. Gen. Birney reported the
matter to Sickles and at the same time directed a section of Clark's
rifled battery to fire a few shots at the moving column. The range was
easily found and Birney ordered the rest of the battery to the same
position. The artillery fire was so effective that the column was ap-
parently thrown into confusion, hurrying forward to get out of range
of the guns. This fact added to the belief that the enemy was in full
retreat. This was about 8 a. m. Hooker was at once notified of the
affair and was inclined to believe that the Confederates were retiring.
Realizing, however, that it might be one of the flank movements for
which Jackson was noted, he issued orders to Slocum and Howard to
strengthen their lines as much as possible and advance their pickets "to
obtain timely information of their approach."

At noon Sickles received orders to follow Jackson and harass his
movements. Birney's division, with two battalions of Berdan's sharp-
shooters and Randolph's battery, were hurried forward, supported by
Whipple's division. Birney's advance was checked by a 12-pounder bat-
tery at the iron foundry near Welford's house, but Livingston's battery
was brought up and soon silenced the enemy's guns. Pleasonton's cav-
alry was also brought up as a reinforcement, but the woods being too
thick to permit its use to advantage, Sickles advised Pleasonton to return
to the open space near Scott's run. Sickles wanted to cut off the divi-
sions of Anderson and McLaws and capture them, and sent for rein-
forcements for that purpose. He was promised the rest of his own
corps, as well as support from Slocum and Howard, and was preparing
to attack, when Hooker changed his mind and recalled the reinforce-
ments. About 300 prisoners were taken, however, and from these it
was learned that Jackson's purpose was to strike a blow on the right.
But the information came too late to be of service.

All day Lee had been keeping up a demonstration against the Union
left and center; now directing a heavy cannonade against Meade; now
a musketry fire against Couch and Slocum ; followed by an attack on
Hancock, who occupied a position in advance of the main line. These
movements were intended to create the impression that the principal
assault was to be made in that quarter, and to draw attention from
Jackson. By 3 p. m. Jackson had reached the plank road, within 2
miles of Howard's corps. Howard had neglected to observe Hooker's
order of the morning to advance his pickets in order to guard against
a surprise. Even when informed by Capt. Farmer, of Pleasonton's staff,
that a Confederate battery was posted directly on his flank he did not
believe that any attack was intended against his corps. The Confederate
pickets, therefore, crept through the thickets unmolested and accurately
reported Howard's position. Jackson formed his forces in three lines,
Rodes in front, then Colston, then A. P. Hill, his formation reaching
some distance on either side of the road and completely enveloping the
front, flank and rear of the nth corps. Anderson and McLaws had
orders, as soon as the sound of Jackson's guns was heard, to make a
feint of attacking the Union left to prevent aid being sent to Howard,
and at the same time to press gradually to their left until they connected
with Jackson's right, when the whole force was to close on the Federal
center. It was 5 p. m. when Jackson formed his lines for the final
attack. Howard's men had stacked their arms and were preparing their
suppers. Some were playing cards, and all were unprepared for the
assault that was soon to arouse them from their fancied security. In-
trenchments had been thrown up but they were not manned. Not even
the shot of a solitary picket alarmed the corps. With a yell and a volley
of musketry the Confederates dashed out of the woods upon the defense-
less Federals, who fled in confusion without firing a shot. A few made
an attempt to withstand the advance, but they were swept from their
position and joined their comrades now streaming through the woods
toward Chancellorsville. The wild rush of the fugitives aroused
Hooker to action. His staff vainly tried to rally the panic-stricken
troops, making it necessary to form a new line immediately to prevent
Jackson from sweeping everything before him. But it was not an easy
matter to find men for the formation of this new line, for as soon as
Lee heard the sound of Jackson's attack he immediately engaged the
whole line to prevent any aid being sent to Howard. Berry's division
happened to be in reserve at a convenient distance. He was ordered
to move at once, form across the plank road and drive the Confederates
back, or at least hold them in check until reinforcements could be sent
to him. But the check to Jackson's impetuous onslaught came from a
different and somewhat unexpected quarter. When Pleasonton left
Sickles at the iron foundry he proceeded leisurely back to Hazel grove
with the 8th and 17th Penn. cavalry and Martin's battery of horse
artillery. Upon reaching the open space he had left a short time before
he found it filled with a confused mass of men, guns, caissons and
ambulances, all bent on getting out of the way as soon as possible.
Charging upon this disorderly aggregation he cleared the space for
action. To gain time, for the enemy was already forming for another
attack, he ordered Maj. Keenan of the 8th Penn. to charge the Con-
federate lines. This was bravely done, though Keenan and 32 of his
men never returned. Pleasonton next ordered Martin to bring his
guns into battery, load them with double charges of canister, and aim so
that the shot would strike the ground some distance in advance of
the approaching enemy, but not to fire until orders were given. Just
at this juncture Lieut. Crosby, of the 4th U. S. artillery, reported to
Pleasonton that he had a battery of 6 guns at hand. This was placed
by the side of Martin's battery, giving Pleasonton 12 guns, and to get
more a detachment of the 17th Penn. charged on the stragglers and took
possession of 10 pieces, which were brought quickly into line. It was
now dusk. Keenan's charge, although disastrous to himself, had gained
for Pleasonton a valuable quarter of an hour. The Confederate line
emerged from the woods bearing a Union flag which had been dropped
by some of the flying troops. They called out not to shoot as they
were friends, but a moment later discharged a volley directly at the
men behind the guns. Pleasonton then gave the order to fire. The
whole line of guns, double-shotted and aimed low, belched forth a mur-
derous discharge of iron hail that swept the advancing Confederates
off their feet. Before the line could be reformed the guns were again
loaded and again that shower of death-dealing missiles was sent hurtling
through the ranks of the enemy. The cannonade continued for fully 20
minutes, when the Confederates gave up the attempt to storm the battery
and retired to the woods.

When Berry received the order to move out and recapture the works
of the routed nth corps he promptly obeyed, but found a large force of
the enemy in possession. He then formed his line in the valley in front
and held his position there to await developments. Warren had stopped
several of the retreating batteries and now formed them across the
plank road in the rear of the infantry. When Pleasonton opened fire
on the enemy Warren's guns were also brought into action and rendered
effective service, while Berry steadily advanced his line, meanwhile
keeping up an incessant fire of musketry up the road and into the woods.
About 8:30 the firing began to decrease and half an hour later ceased
altogether. Jackson ordered A. P. Hill's division to the front for the
purpose of continuing the fight, and with his staff rode forward to
examine the position. He had not proceeded far when a fire from
Berry's pickets warned him that the Federals were on the alert. As
he rode back to his lines Hill's men were just taking position. Mistaking
Jackson and his staff for Union cavalry some of them fired. Half of
his escort were killed or wounded. He was struck by three balls, being
wounded in both hands and his left arm. He was taken to Guiney's
station, to keep him from being captured, pneumonia set in and he died
on May lo.

In the Union line of battle on Sunday morning the position of the
left and center remained the same, except Howard's corps was moved
to the extreme left, where no attack was likely to be made. The left
was held by Hancock, the center by Slocum, and the right, facing west,
by Sickles and French's division of Couch's corps. Sickles' extreme
left (Birney's division) occupied the little plateau of Hazel grove,
which commanded the Union center, and if won by the enemy he could
pour an enfilading tire into Slocum's ranks. During the night Reynolds'
corps had come up. It was placed so as to guard the roads to Ely's
and the United States fords, and occupied the position which had been
Jackson's objective point. After Jackson was wounded the command of
the corps fell on Stuart, who was busy all night reorganizing his forces.
At dawn he swung his right through the woods toward Hazel grove,
from which all the Union troops had been withdrawn with the exception
of Graham's brigade. Graham mistook the movement for an attack and
a sharp skirmish ensued, which resulted in the Federals evacuating the
hill and retiring to Fairview. Stuart was quick to see the advantage he
had gained. He immediately occupied the hill with 30 pieces of artillery
and opened fire on Chancellorsville. His next move was to attack Sickles
on the Fairview ridge. Sickles obstinately defended his position for
over two hours, repulsing several assaults, and then sent for reinforce-
ments. Just as the request reached headquarters Hooker was knocked
senseless by a cannon ball from Hazel grove, which struck the pillar
against which he was leaning. There was no one with authority to
send Sickles the desired assistance, though Meade and Reynolds were
both disengaged and either corps would have been sufficient to enable
Sickles to hold his position, or even to assume the offensive and secure
a victory. Sickles fought on until his ammunition was exhausted, when
he withdrew his useless artillery, fell back to a second line, only par-
tially fortified, and prepared to hold that by bayonet. Just then French
made a determined attack on the Confederate left and forced it back.
This was the only offensive movement of the Union forces that day, and
Stuart rushed reinforcements to the spot, quickly repelling the assault.
Had half of Reynolds' corps, lying idle a short distance away, been
ordered up Stuart's army might have been destroyed. During this time
Slocum's line had been subjected to a heavy fire from the artillery at
Hazel grove, and Hancock was threatened. By 10 a. m. Lee and
Stuart had succeeded in effecting a junction of their forces, and with
40,000 men began pressing on toward Chancellorsville, opposed by prob-
ably 30,000 under Sickles, French and Slocum. The 42,000 of Meade,
Howard and Reynolds, all within easy call, remained inactive. Again
the assault fell on Sickles, who was without ammunition. Five times
he repulsed the enemy with bayonets. Then the overwhelming numbers
of the enemy hurled against him compelled him to give way and the
army fell back to a line which had been mapped out the evening before.

Here was a strong position. The left was protected by the ravine
of Mineral Spring run, the right by the ravines of the Big and Little
Hunting runs, leaving only a narrow front open to attack, and this was
not easy to approach by a line of any extent. Hooker had here over
70,000 men, while Lee's strength was barely 40,000. Notwithstanding
this disparity of numbers he was preparing to renew the fight when he
received the news that Sedgwick and Gibbon were between him and
Fredericksburg, ready to fall on his rear or overpower Early and cut
the Confederate communications. At 11 p. m. on Saturday, the 2nd.
Sedgwick received the order to join Hooker. It was daylight before
his advance reached the left and rear of Fredericksburg. Marye's hill
was carried by assault at ii o'clock, and Sedgwick was between Lee
and Early with his corps of 22,000 men. Gibbon, with his division of
5,000, had crossed over from Falmouth as soon as the town had been
taken, and moved to the right, but was checked by the artillery fire and
held at the canal until after the storming of the heights. Gibbon was
left to hold the town and cover the bridges and Sedgwick sent back for
Brooks' division, which had been left 3 miles below the town, to come
forward and take the advance. This delayed Sedgwick's movements
until 3 p. m., giving Lee time to send four brigades to check the Federal
advance. At Salem Church this detachment met the Confederates that
had been driven from Marye's heights, and a stand was made on a low
ridge covered with timber. An attack by Brooks and Newton drove
the Confederates from this position, but reinforcements coming up the
Union forces were in turn compelled to fall back, closely pressed by
the enemy until he was checked by the artillery. Both armies lay that
night on the field.

On Monday morning. May 4, Lee's army was in an extremely haz-
ardous position. His entire strength was less than 50,000 men and this
force was scattered. Stuart's corps, with the greater part of Anderson's
division, was in front of Hooker at Chancellorsville ; McLaws, with
about 10,000, was at Salem Church, holding Sedgwick in check; and
Early, with 8,000, was 3 miles farther south. Thus divided the Con-
federate army ought to have fallen an easy prey to the superior force
of the Federals. But it was saved by the good generalship of Lee and
the inactivity of Hooker. The remainder of Anderson's division was
quietly withdrawn from Stuart and sent against Sedgwick. Early re-
captured Marye's hill, forcing Gibbon to abandon Fredericksburg and
recross the river, and then moved to join Anderson. At 11 a. m. Sedg-
wick found himself encompassed on three sides by the enemy. He
reported the situation to Hooker and asked the active support of the
main army. In reply he was directed not to attack unless the main
body at Chancellorsville did so. This order placed him on the defensive.
At 4 p. m. he formed his corps — now less than 20,000 men — with Howe
facing Early on the east, Newton, with Russell's brigade of Brooks'
division, facing west against McLaws, while Brooks' other two brigades
were facing Anderson on the south. Within the three sides of this
square, both flanks of which rested on the river, was Banks' ford, his
line of retreat in case he was compelled to abandon his position. His
entire line was thin and was confronted by a superior force. He realized
that his position was precarious, but he determined to hold it until dark,
as an attempt to cross the river in the daytime would sacrifice a large
part of his command. About 6 p. m. three guns were fired in quick
succession from one of the Confederate batteries. This was the signal
for the attack and the whole line began to advance. The assault fell
the heaviest on Howe in an effort to cut off the Federals from the ford.
Newton was not assailed and Brooks easily repulsed the attack on his
line. Howe's artillery did effective work on Early's column and threw
it into confusion. Taking advantage of the situation Howe advanced
his right and captured the greater part of the 8th La. regiment, but the
movement exposed his left and he was compelled to fall back to a posi-
tion previously selected. The enemy took this for a retreat and charged,
bringing his flank opposite the Vermont brigade stationed in a little
piece of woods. This brigade opened a galling fire and Early beat a
precipitate retreat. After the attack on his lines in the morning Sedg-
wick sent word to Hooker that he could hold his position. Before
Hooker received that despatch he had sent Sedgwick an order to cross
the river. After receiving it he countermanded the order, but Sedgwick
did not receive the countermand in time. Gen. Benham, of the engineers.
had thrown a bridge across at Scott's dam, about a mile below Banks'
ford, on the 3d. While the attack on Sedgwick was in progress he
threw over another, and this precaution enabled Sedgwick to save his
corps. Soon after dark the order was issued to fall back to the north
bank of the Rappahannock and by daylight the next morning the entire
command was encamped on the Falmouth road a mile from the ford.

On Sunday night Hooker called a council of war, at which it was
decided to recross the Rappahannock. Some difficulty was encountered
in crossing, owing to a sudden rise in the river, but by the 6th the entire
army was on the north side, and the disastrous Chancellorsville campaign
was ended. In the several engagements the Union army lost 1,606
killed, 9,762 wounded, and 5,919 missing. The Confederate losses, as
given by brigade and division commanders, aggregated 1,649 killed, 9,106
wounded, and 1,708 captured or missing.

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Source: The Union Army, vol. 5


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