rifle-pits on the left of the Dewson Mill road. About five o'clock P. M. I received orders from Major-General McLaws to double my line of skirmishers and advance. I did so for about one and one half miles, encountering no enemy. I halted with Brigadier-General Wofford's brigade on my left. Brigadier-General Wilcox not receiving orders to advance at the time, did not join my right. General Wofford having become disconnected from the line on his left, determined to bivouac for the night. Accordingly I threw out a strong line of pickets and disposed my men for rest. They were very much exhausted, owing to the nature of the country through which they had advanced. About ten o'clock I received an order to retrace my steps and march up the turnpike road to Major-General McLaws's position. I did so, and having arrived with my brigade near General McLaws's headquarters, received an order revoking the former order, and directing me to move my command back to the position I had just left. Having retaken that position, I remained until morning, everything in my front continuing quiet. Brigadier-General Wofford having reestablished his connection with the line on his left, the line of battle was advanced, I moving in conformity with the line on my left, keeping out a strong line of skirmishers, and sending out scouting parties to my front and right, we encountered no resistance to our advance. The enemy falling back without firing a gun, we took a few prisoners and found some abandoned commissary stores, arms, &c. About four o'clock in the evening the line was closed up to the left by order from Major-General McLaws, until my left rested a few paces to the right of the pike road. My skirmishers here became engaged with the enemy, driving back the enemy's skirmishers and holding the ground gained against a brisk fire from both infantry and artillery. At dark I received an order from Major-General McLaws to report with my command to Major-General Anderson, on the left of Major-General McLaws's line, and in obedience to Major-General Anderson's orders, bivouacked my men in the woods for rest. Some time before daylight of the morning of the third of May, I moved my command, by direction of Major-General Anderson, down the Catharpin road, for the purpose of scouring the country to the left of and rear of the left of Major-General Anderson's line. I found the country clear, and moved up by the furnace, on the left of the line, and came up with the other brigades of the division, near to the enemy's works. I at once formed my line of battle and pushed forward upon the right flank of the enemy's works on the left of the line of Major-General Anderson's division. The fire was quite brisk here from a line of the enemy, thrown back at right angles to this front, to protect his flank and rear. This line soon gave way, and pushing forward, I found myself inside of his breastworks. Having no knowledge of the ground, and the woods being so thick as to entirely obstruct the view, I was at a loss for some time as to the direction of the enemy's next line. Their musket balls soon gave me the proper direction, and I changed front, and sending out skirmishers, soon found their line on the thickly wooded hill in the rear of their breastworks, and to their right of the field in front of Chancellor's. I ordered a charge, and the enemy, after one or two rounds, broke in the utmost confusion, throwing down arms, knapsacks, &c., great numbers of them running into our lines. No sooner had the enemy's lines vanished, than their batteries poured a most terrific fire of grape and canister into my lines. The men lying down, and being partially protected by a slight ridge, the fire was not as fatal as I had reason to fear. Upon going to the front I found no infantry in my front, between me and the turnpike road, and that I could not lead my men against the enemy's battery without encountering the range of our own battery on the left of the rear of my line, which was then clearing out the enemy in double-quick time. While making this charge, portions of two other brigades, who were lying down in the woods, and whom a portion of my line had charged over, rushed back from the sudden and terrific fire poured into us before the enemy gave way, and the Eighth Florida regiment, which had not then passed over them, mistaking them for the left of their own brigade, allowed themselves to be swept back a short distance by them. They were not, however, at all panic stricken, but were rallied at once, their morale and spirit in no manner impaired. I cannot think any blame should be attached to either the officers or the men of the regiment. I remained in that position until the rest of the division was marched up by General Anderson, and moved by the right flank with them to the turnpike read, where the division halted. Soon after, I was directed by order from General Anderson, to occupy the works on the right of the pike road, to prevent the enemy from throwing a force into them. I remained in those works until ordered to follow the division towards United States Ford. That night I halted with the division,--being on its left,--put out strong pickets, and rested until about two hours before daylight of May fourth, when I received orders to throw one regiment forward upon each of two roads running towards the ridge occupied by the enemy, in the rear of Chancellorsville. I sent forward the Fifth Florida, on the road leading by Grady's house, and the Second Florida, about half a mile farther to the left, throwing forward a connected line of skirmishers in front of the two regiments. These skirmishers encountered the enemy's pickets in considerable force, but they offered feeble resistance, and were pressed back a mile or a mile and a half, to the enemy's intrenchments. I was then ordered by General Anderson to draw in the two regiments and line of skirmishers, and follow the division towards Fredericksburg, which I did, and was next posted on the left of the line of the division. My line being to the rear of Downman's house, Brigadier-General Posey being on my right. There being an interval of three quarters of a mile between my left and the right of General McLaws's line, I was ordered to hold the position I then occupied,
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Doc . 62 .-Hoisting the Black flag — official correspondence and reports.
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