began to return, and notwithstanding the infantry was tumbling headlong over the wall, and fleeing through the woods, the artillery recovered its senses. Pleasanton, with his cavalry, was in the field. Leaving the cavalry, he took charge of the artillery, turned it up on the ridge, manned it in battery, brought up his cavalry to support it — a feature novel and laughable — and in five minutes had the foundation of a dam. Captain Best, chief of artillery to Sickles's corps, with marvellous energy brought his pieces into position, all pointing toward the approaching avalanche--forty pieces ready to open their thunders. General Hooker was at Chancellorsville. In an instant he was in the saddle. There was no force at hand but Berry that could be thrown instantly into the break. It was his old command, hardened, indurated, made perfect through suffering in all the hard-fought contests of the Peninsula. With a heroism unsurpassed, equal to the Imperial Guard at Waterloo, amid all the disaster, rout, panic, and commotion, they moved into position--one single block to resist the moving mass, to stop it square till Birney, Berdan, and Williams could be recalled; till Slocum could change front; till the dam could be thrown across the stream! With yells and cheers the enemy advanced and met the canister and shells of thirty pieces of artillery. It was a terrible fire. There stood Berry's division, as firm as a rock. Again and again the rebels dashed against those veterans, only to be hurled back, dashed in pieces, to reform and roll up again like the waves upon the rocks of Nahant. A hundred shots a minute were thundered from those thirty cannon--one unbroken roll of thunder, sweeping away the rebels as a housewife an army of emmets into the fire! They quailed, halted, fell back. The torrent was stemmed. The grand coup daetat of Jackson had been checked. Coolness, nerve, pluck, endurance, had won the day — seemingly had turned the tide of destiny. In the night, Whipple, and Berry, and Birney advanced. It was not enough to stem the tide, it must be moved back. It was a fierce and successful assault. They recovered a portion of the lost ground, and gave Hooker time to re-form his line for the great contest of Sunday. The line was nearly in the form of the letter V. There was but little danger of an attack from the east, and Howard, who, with almost superhuman exertion, had reorganized his corps, was placed on the left, while Meade was sent over to the right. Couch was also moved toward the west, but kept in position to strike in either direction. Hooker's plan was, to fight a defensive battle. He knew that the enemy must attack him or retreat. It was his intention to receive the attack, let Jackson do his utmost till exhausted, and then he would begin the advance, bring in his fresh divisions, and cut the retiring force to pieces. All of his movements, from the moment of leaving Falmouth, had been with this object in view. Reynolds was on the extreme right, at the upper end of the left leg of the V. Meade came next, then Sickles, then Slocum, in the vicinity of the Chancellor House, holding the point of the V. Howard was on the right leg, and Couch in the centre. Zzz It was not exactly a V, but a triangle, with the left leg longer than the right, with nearly all the troops on that leg. The rebel advance was from the west, directly along the turnpike. Reynolds and Meade were north of the turnpike, Sickles on it, and Slocum extending one division south of it. Hooker selected his old case hardened corps to meet the coming shock. Berry, of Sickles's corps, was on the north side of the turnpike, Birney south of it — both divisions advanced from the general line; Whipple, of Sickles's corps, was behind Berry, and Williams, of Slocum's corps, behind Birney. The other division of Slocum (Geary's) formed the southern half of the other leg, joining on Howard. The artillery under Best was massed to command the approaches by the turnpike. Randolph's, Seeley's, Smith's, Osband's, and two sections of Dimmick's batteries were placed in line, all pointing west, on the ridge in the centre of the fifty-acre lot. Birney and Berry were at the western edge of the lot, with two pieces of Dimmick's battery in the road. It was early Sunday morning when Jackson advanced — about half-past 5. The force of his stroke was intended to break the left leg of the V close to the joint, thus----V. In the annals of this war there has been no greater manifestation of desperation than that shown by the rebels this Sunday morning. They came through the woods in solid mass, receiving in their faces the terrible hail-storm which burst like the fury of a tornado from Berry's and Birney's lines, from Whipple's and Williams's, which were at once advanced to the front. The batteries — the forty pieces of artillery under Best — hurled in the grape and canister. The advancing column was cut up and gashed as if pierced, seamed, and ploughed by invincible
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Rebel reports and Narratives.
Doc . 91 .- General Sherman 's expedition.
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