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[364] 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

Sedgwick 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
Cavalry, &c.150

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.

Hooker, his army having returned to their familiar camping-ground on the north of the Rappahannock, issued3 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,

1 Pollard gives the following account of this movement from the Rebel side; which must serve for want of a better:

The enemy, however, was not yet defeated. One more struggle remained; and, to make that, the enemy during the night massed a heavy force against McLaws's left, in order to establish communication with Hooker along the river road. Anderson moved rapidly to the support of McLaws, and reached the church about 12 M., having marched 15 miles. Gen. Lee having arrived on the field, ordered Anderson to move round the church and establish his right on Early's left (Early having come up from Hamilton's crossing, in rear of the enemy). The enemy having weakened his left, in order to force McLaws and gain the river road, Gen. Lee massed a heavy force upon this weakened part of the enemy, and, at a concerted signal, Anderson and Early rushed upon the enemy's left.

The signal for the general attack was not given until just before sunset, when our men rushed upon the enemy like a hurricane. But little resistance was made: the beaten foe having fled in wild confusion in the direction of Banks's ford. At dark, a short pause ensued; but, as soon as the moon rose, the enemy was speedily driven to Banks's ford, and on that night of the 4th of May ended this remarkable series of battles on the lines of the Rappahannock.

2 43 Among them, Gen. Paxton, killed and Gen. Heth, wounded.

3 May 6th.

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