the enemy's rear, the column was moved across to the old turnpike road, and was formed in line of battle about four o'clock P. M., two and a half miles from Chancellorsville. The line was formed perpendicular to the road, by which it was equally divided. Iverson's brigade on the left, Colquitt's on the right, Rodes on the left centre, Doles on the right centre; the right of Rodes and left of Doles resting on the road. Ramseur's brigade was placed in the rear of Colquitt as a support, and to guard the flank. By five o'clock, Trimble's division, under command of Brigadier-General Colston, had formed about one hundred yards in rear of my command, and in continuation of Ramseur's line. A. P. Hill's division formed the third line in rear of Colston. Each brigade commander received positive instructions, which were well understood. The whole line was to push ahead from the beginning, keeping the road for its guide. The position at Talley's house was to be carried at all hazards, as, from the best information that could be obtained, it commanded the second position of the enemy at Melzie Chancellor's house. After taking the heights at Talley's, if the enemy showed a determined front on the next ridge, my men were to be sheltered until our artillery could come up and dislodge them — under no other circumstances was there to be any pause in the advance. As there was possibility of pressure on my right flank, Ramseur was directed to watch that flank carefully, thus leaving Colquitt free to push ahead, without fear from that quarter. For similar reasons, the left regiment of Iverson was placed perpendicular to line of battle, with orders to follow the advance by the flank. At five and a quarter P. M., the word was given to move forward, the line of sharpshooters being about four hundred yards in advance. In consequence of the dense mass of undergrowth, and orders not having been promptly given to the skirmishers of Rodes's brigade, some little delay was caused when the main line reached the skirmishers' line. This latter was put in motion again by my order, and, soon after, the Alabama brigade encountered the fire of the enemy. At once the line of battle rushed forward with a yell, and Doles at this moment debouched from the woods and encountered a force of the enemy and a battery of two guns intrenched. Detaching two regiments to flank the position, he charged without halting, sweeping everything before him, and pressing on to Talley's, gallantly carried the works there, and captured five guns, by a similar flank movement of a portion of his command. So complete was the success of the whole manoeuvre, and such was the surprise of the enemy, that scarcely any organized resistance was met with after the first volley was fired. They fled in the wildest confusion, leaving the field strewn with arms, accoutrements, clothing, caissons, and field pieces in every direction. The larger portion of his force, as well as intrenchments, were drawn up at right angles to our line, and being thus taken in the flank and rear, they did not wait for the attack. On reaching the ridge at Melzie Chancellor's, which had an extended line of works facing in our direction, an effort was made to check the flying columns. For a few moments they held this position, but once more my gallant troops dashed at them with a wild shout, and firing a hasty volley, they continued their headlong flight to Chancellorsville. It was at this point that Trimble's division, which had followed closely in my rear, headed by the brave and accomplished Colston, went over the works with my men, and from this time until the close of the engagement the two divisions were mingled together in inextricable confusion. Pushing forward as rapidly as possible, the troops soon entered a second piece of woods thickly filled with undergrowth. The right becoming entangled in an abatis near the enemy's first line of fortifications, caused the line to halt, and such was the confusion and darkness, that it was not deemed advisable to make a further advance. I at once sent word to Lieutenant-General Jackson, urging him to push forward the fresh troops of the reserve line, in order that mine might be re-formed. Riding forward on the plank road, I satisfied myself that the enemy had no line of battle between our troops and the heights of Chancellorsville, and on my return, informed Colonel Crutchfield, chief of artillery of the corps, of the fact, and he opened his batteries on that point. The enemy instantly responded by a most terrific fire, which silenced our guns, but did little execution on the infantry, as it was mainly directed down the plank road, which was uncovered, except by our, artillery. When the fire ceased, General Hill's troops were brought up, and as soon as a portion were deployed in my front as skirmishers, I commenced withdrawing my men, under orders from the Lieutenant-General. During this glorious victory, and pursuit of more than two miles, I had only three brigades really engaged. General Colquitt, soon after starting, was misled by the appearance of a small body of the enemy's cavalry, and notwithstanding the instructions to himself and General Ramseur, halted his brigade to resist what he supposed to be an attack on his flank. This error was discovered too late to enable him to do more than follow the victorious troops of Doles over the field they had won. Ramseur being ordered to follow Colquitt and watch his flank, was necessarily deprived of an active participation. On withdrawing my troops, I was directed to see that Jones's brigade, of Colston's division, was so placed as to guard a road coming in from the direction of the furnace on the right, and to relieve, with one of my brigades, McGowan's brigade, of Hill's division, then guarding a second road from the same direction, which entered the plank road farther up. Whilst preparing to make these dispositions, a sudden and rapid musketry fire was opened in front, which created a little confusion among the troops; order was speedily restored, however. Apparently, this firing proceeded entirely from our own men, as not a ball from the enemy came within sound. There being no other place but the open ground at Melzie Chancellor's suitable for such a purpose, I withdrew all my troops, except Colquitt's brigade, then on guard, to re-form them at that point. Finding the intrenchments partially occupied by Paxton's brigade, I formed line of battle in connection with
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Doc . 62 .-Hoisting the Black flag — official correspondence and reports.
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