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[263] to follow the old turnpike, and during the afternoon had cooperated with McLaws's division.

A little before daylight, on the second of May, Wilcox's brigade was ordered to resume the position at Bank's Ford from which it had been withdrawn.

The night of the first and morning of the second of May passed quickly. At seven o'clock A. M., Posey's brigade moved a little to the rear of the line of battle, having been relieved by that of Brigadier-General Thomas.

When Lieutenant-General Jackson's command moved against the enemy's right, the position immediately on the left of the plank road, which had been held by a part of his troops, was taken by Wright's brigade. At midday the enemy appeared in some force at the furnace. Posey's brigade was sent to dislodge him, and was soon engaged in a warm skirmish with him. The increasing numbers of the enemy made it necessary to move Wright's brigade to the support of Posey's, and Mahone's was at the same time moved over from the old turnpike to the position just left by Wright's. Posey's brigade gallantly maintained its position against great odds, and checked the further advance of the enemy. Perry's brigade joined me at dark. During the night, Posey's brigade constructed a line of breastworks.

At daylight, on the third, Perry's brigade was directed to gain the Catharpin road, and move towards the furnace. At sunrise, when it was supposed that General Perry had time to reach the vicinity of the furnace, General Posey's skirmishers were pushed forward towards it, and it was discovered that the enemy had retired.

Soon afterwards, in obedience to the directions of the commanding General, my whole force was advanced towards Chancellorsville. Mahone's brigade having its right on the plank road, and Wright's, Posey's, and Perry's successfully forming a line of battle on the left of, and nearly perpendicular to, that portion of the plank road between us and Chancellorsville. The troops pressed forward with spirited impetuosity, and with as much rapidity as was permitted by the dense thickets and tangled abatis through which they were obliged to force their way. After a short and sharp encounter they drove the enemy from his intrenchments. Wright's brigade was the first to reach Chancellorsville, at which place it captured a large number of prisoners. The other brigades coming up immediately afterwards, the division was placed in line along the old turnpike to the east of Chancellorsville. A little after midday Mahone's brigade was detached, by order of the commanding General, to operate with McLaws's division against the enemy, who were then reported to be moving from Fredericksburg up the plank road. At four o'clock in the afternoon I proceeded, in obedience to instructions, with Wright's, Perry's, and Posey's brigades, to the river road, below United States Ford, to watch that road, and to threaten the enemy's communications and his line of retreat from Chancellorsville. Major Hardaway, with fourteen pieces of rifle artillery, was attached to my command. Upon arriving at the river road I found the enemy strongly posted on Mine Run; and when I had completed a reconnoissance of his position it was too late to effect anything that evening. Captain Johnston, of the engineer corps, who accompanied me, having discovered large parks of the enemy's wagons, and the camps of some of his troops, on the opposite side of the river, Major Hardaway was directed to post his guns at daybreak on the fourth at a point indicated by Captain Johnston, and to open a hot fire upon the parks and camps. This was executed as directed, and I believe with good effect. Soon afterwards our skirmishers were pushed forward, with orders to drive back those of the enemy, and to discover his position and strength. This was accomplished without delay, the enemy being found in force, fortifying a high ridge between Mine Run and the road connecting United States Ford and Chancellorsville. Just at this time I received orders to march with my division towards Fredericksburg, and report to Major General McLaws, at Salem Church, on the plank road, being relieved from duty at this point by General Heth's command. I arrived at Salem Church with my command at eleven o'clock A. M., and reported, as. directed, to Major-General McLaws. At twelve o'clock M., in obedience to the directions of the commanding General, my division was placed in line of battle on the left of Major-General Early's, which was occupying Marye's hill and the heights extending west from Fredericksburg. The general direction of the enemy's line was parallel with the plank road. At six o'clock P. M., the signal to advance being given, Early's division and my own marched rapidly upon the enemy's position, and drove him from it without much trouble, meeting with but slight resistance. Wright's brigade advanced with great intrepidity across a wheat field, under a hot fire of grape, and drove one of the enemy's batteries from its position. The enemy retreated towards Banks's Ford, and was followed closely as long as there was light enough to continue the pursuit. At daylight on the fifth, reconnoitring parties discovered that he had disappeared from our side of the river. At four o'clock P. M. I received orders to return with my command to the vicinity of Chancellorsville; and at dark I halted the head of the column one mile from that place; Wilcox's and Wright's brigades lying in bivouac on the Catharine road, Mahone's, Perry's, and Posey's on the plank road. At eight o'clock A. M., on the sixth, the division was moved forward to a position at the junction of the Ely's Ford and United States Ford roads. At eleven o'clock A. M., in obedience to the orders of the commanding General, I marched towards Fredericksburg, and in the afternoon returned to the position which had been occupied by the division previous to these operations. Wilcox's and Mahone's brigades, after being detached from my command, participated in the fight at Salem Church. I cannot too highly commend the gallant conduct of the division which I had the honor and good fortune to command. Where all performed their

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Carnot Posey (9)
Marcus J. Wright (8)
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