from his side, they concentrated largely upon his isolated lieutenant; reoccupying the Fredericksburg heights
, and, striking him in flank, pushed him down toward the river, and, during the night, over it, at Banks's ford, with heavy loss — hardly less than 5,000 men.1
being now out of the way, Lee
was at liberty to turn with all his force on Hooker
, who still remained within his hasty earthworks between Chancellorsville
and the Rappahannock
But the Rebels
had been marched and fought till they were exhausted, and had been fearfully slaughtered in their reckless rushes on our batteries on Sunday.
They may have been willing to repeat that madness; but Lee
manifestly was not. The day passed with little skirmishing and no serious fighting; and, at evening, Hooker
called a council of corps commanders, which decided nothing; but he determined to recross that night, and did so, utterly unmolested.
He states that he brought back one gun more than he took over, and judges that he inflicted greater injury than he received.
That is probably an overestimate: since he admits a total loss, while across the Rappahannock
, of no less than 17,197 men — as follows:
|Sedgwick's (6th) Corps,||4,601|
|Slocum's (12th) Corps,||2,883|
|Couch's (2d) Corps,||2,025|
|Reynolds's (1st) Corps,||292|
|Sickles's (3d) corps,||4,089|
|Howard's (11th) corps,||2,508|
|Meade's (5th) corps,||699|
He adds that a Rebel surgeon at Richmond
stated the loss of their side in these struggles at 18,0002
and it is significant that no official statement of their losses was ever made, and that Pollard
is silent on the subject.
It is quite probable that, while the prestige of success was wholly with the Rebels
, their losses were actually more exhausting than ours.
And the violent storm and consequent flood which attended and covered Hooker
's recrossing, setting some of his pontoons adrift and threatening to separate him from his resources, is cited on one side to explain his retreat, and on the other to excuse Lee
's failure to molest it.
, his army having returned to their familiar camping-ground on the north of the Rappahannock
a congratulatory order, wherein he says:
The Major-General commanding tenders to this army his congratulations on its achievements of the last seven days. If it has not accomplished all that was expected,