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[272] About twenty pieces of artillery coming into battery helped, finally, to drive back the enemy, and the conflict was virtually over at this point, and the firing ceased. In the mean while a very sharp fire on the left of the road announced that the Louisiana brigade was hotly engaged. I ordered part of the troops in the breastworks to march by the left flank to their support, and General Colquitt's brigade coming up at the same time, was ordered by General Stuart to proceed in the same direction. These forces arrived on the left just in time. The Louisiana troops, who had been fighting gallantly for a long time without support, and whose ammunition was almost entirely exhausted, were falling back, under a tremendous fire of artillery and musketry. The arrival of the reenforcements enabled them to stop their retrograde movement, and the whole line advanced together, and, delivering a few well-directed volleys, the enemy was forced to retreat. It was now about twelve o'clock. The enemy was driven beyond Chancellorsville. The troops of my division were almost entirely without ammunition, having expended all their own, besides a large quantity of Yankee ammunition. They were accordingly withdrawn to the rear, and supplied with fresh ammunition and with rations, of which they stood in great need, and their shattered ranks were reformed.

No further movements took place until about three o'clock. At this time I received an order to report in person to General Lee. Upon my doing so, the General ordered me to form my division perpendicular to the road leading from the Chancellorsville house towards the United States Ford, to throw forward skirmishers, and to advance for the purpose of feeling and ascertaining the enemy's position, not of taking his batteries. To this he added, that the road turned to the right at about a quarter of a mile distant, but that I would probably meet opposition before I got there. I accordingly formed my troops on both sides of the road, Nichols's and Colston's brigades being on the left and Jones's and Paxton's on the right. I ordered Lieutenant Hinrichs, of the engineers, to advance with the skirmishers and reconnoitre the enemy's position. The command was then given for the division to move forward. Hardly had they advanced a few paces, when a terrific fire of shell and canister was opened by the enemy, from a battery of twelve pieces of artillery. I ordered a section of Napoleon guns to advance up the road and reply to the enemy's fire. There was no other spot than the road in which they could be placed, and that was too narrow to allow a larger number of pieces to be put in battery. Finding that they would be speedily silenced, and probably with useless loss of life and material by the enemy's superior artillery, I ordered them back after a few rounds. In the mean time, perceiving some confusion on the left of the road, I proceeded there and found the Tenth Louisiana regiment exposed to a perfect storm of grape and shell, and rapidly giving away. Seconded by my Aid, Lieutenant Tosh, and by the gallant exertions of the officers of this regiment, whose conduct deserves the highest praise, I succeeded in arresting this retrograde movement, in spite of the enemy's continued fire; but the carnage in this small regiment was great — in less than two minutes, fifty officers and men fell, killed and wounded, by my side, including Lieutenant-Colonel Leggett, who was instantly killed by a shell. The remainder of the brigade suffered in a less degree, some portions having advanced inside of the point where the enemy's shot were falling. By this time it was ascertained that the enemy occupied a formidable position ; twelve pieces of artillery were planted in barbette at the top of the first hill, and a line of intrenchments, occupied by infantry, stretched out on each side of the artillery, occupying a front much wider than that of my division. Another line of infantry, preceded by skirmishers, was drawn up outside of the works. To advance in the face of such a force, with a division so much reduced as mine was, would have been only to insure its destruction, and would have been contrary to the instructions I had received from the General commanding. I accordingly reported to General Stuart, who was, for the time, my immediate commander, that my division was not able to attack, with any prospect of success, the position of the enemy. I was then ordered by him to place my division in some entrenchments which had been abandoned by the enemy; the division was moved at night to a position in prolongation of General Rodes's line, and the position was fortified during the next day and night. On Monday and Tuesday occasional skirmishing took place with the enemy.

In reconnoitring his position and ascertaining his movements important service was rendered by Lieutenant-Colonel R. T. Colston, of the Second Virginia, and Captain William Randolph and Lieutenant Hinrichs, of the engineers.

The enemy having withdrawn their forces across the river, two brigades of this division, Colston's and Jones's, remained, the first at United States Ford, and the latter near Chancellorsville, and collected upon the battle-field vast quantities of arms, ordnance, &c., which were sent on to Guiney Station and Hamilton's Crossing. Communication was opened with the enemy by flag of truce; and, in accordance with instructions from General Lee, they were allowed to move all their wounded, and also the bodies of several of their officers who had fallen in the battle. These duties being completed, the two brigades above mentioned returned to the neighborhood of Hamilton's Crossing, and I returned to the command of my own brigade on the twentieth instant.

Where all did their duty so well and so completely, it becomes impossible to mention all those who exhibited great gallantry. That the troops of this division did perform their duty well and completely, is evidenced by the bloody roll of the killed and wounded. Two hundred and sixty-seven killed, and fifteen hundred and ninety-two wounded, making eighteen hundred and forty-nine casualties, not counting the very slightly wounded, in a division which went into action

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J. E. B. Stuart (2)
Fitz Lee (2)
J. R. Jones (2)
Hinrichs (2)
C. S. Ford (2)
R. T. Colston (2)
James T. Tosh (1)
R. E. Rodes (1)
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