Nichols's brigade, skilfully placed by General Iverson, and sustained against fearful odds, until I ordered up Colquitt's brigade, which quickly and handsomely repulsed it. The enemy being repulsed decidedly here, barely holding his own in the left centre, and compelled, about the same time, by the artillery fire from the right, to abandon the epaulements, withdrew all his forces to the hill back of the Chancellorsville house. The fighting on the centre and left was of a most desperate character, and resulted in the loss of many valuable officers, among them, and most to be regretted, was Major A. M. Gordon, of the Sixth Alabama, a young officer of great promise, and great purity of character. General Pender, speaking of the first advance of my troops, stated to me that Colonel Christie and his regiment, which he handled in magnificent style, especially attracted his attention, and that the Colonel deserved promotion. Whilst these movements were taking place on the left, Ramseur and Doles pushed forward on the right, passed the first line of intrenchments, which had already been carried, passed the first and second lines of our troops, and became fiercely engaged. Doles deflecting to the right, passed up a ravine behind the graveyard on Chancellor's hill, and finally came out in the field nearly opposite the house, driving the enemy before him as he advanced, and actually getting several hundred yards to the rear, as well of those troops opposing the rest of my division as of those opposing General Anderson's division. Subsequently he was compelled to fall back; and was directed by General Lee to take charge of a large body of prisoners. Ramseur, after vainly urging the troops in possession of the first line of intrenchments to move forward, obtained permission to pass them, and, dashing over the works, charged the second intrenched line in the most brilliant style. The struggle at this point was long and obstinate; but the charge on the left of the plank road at this time caused the enemy to give way on his left; and this, combined with the unflinching determination of his men, carried the day, and gave him possession of the works. Not being supported, he was exposed still to a galling fire from the right, with great danger of being flanked. Notwithstanding repeated efforts made by him, and by myself in person, none of the troops in his rear would move up until the old Stonewall brigade arrived on the ground, and gallantly advanced, in conjunction with the Thirtieth North Carolina regiment, Colonel Parker, of Ramseur's brigade, which had been detached to support a battery, and was now on its return. Occupying the works on the right of Ramseur, and thus relieving him, when his ammunition was nearly exhausted, the Stonewall brigade pushed on, and carried the Chancellorsville heights, making the third time they were captured. They, in turn, were forced to fall back, but recaptured several of the prisoners, and one of the flags taken from Colonel Hall. At this juncture, Lieutenant-Colonel Carter, who had behaved with signal courage and judgment during the whole action, succeeded, in conjunction with Major Pegram, in getting several batteries in position in a field to the right, which opened with such precision and rapidity on such of the enemy's batteries and troops as remained on the plain of Chancellorsville as finally to drive them back in utter confusion. Lieutenant-Colonel Hillary Jones, of the artillery, a most accomplished officer, had, however, before this, placed ten guns near the plank road and on the nearest ridge to the enemy's epaulements, which had fired with marked success on the artillery stationed at the Chancellor house and on the retreating troops. As soon as our artillery fire would permit, the heights were occupied by the infantry, and, by order of General Stuart, I took charge of arranging all the troops found on the field in line of battle, parallel to the plank road. The earliest troops on the ground were Colonel Brockenbrough's and another Virginia regiment, belonging, I think, to the same brigade. These were subsequently withdrawn, and my troops located as follows: Iverson's brigade on right, extending from the Chancellorsville house up the plank road; next, Rodes's brigade, then Ramseur's brigade, and finally, Doles's brigade, all parallel and close to the road. Doles was subsequently thrown across the road, and at an angle of forty-five degrees with it, connecting with General Pender, by whom this line was continued on to the left. Colston's division, now attached to my command, was located on the turnpike road, to the right, and in continuation of my line. Colquitt's brigade was placed en echelon with reference both to Iverson and Colston, and one hundred yards in rear, to enable our artillery to operate in the interval. This position was strongly fortified, and was held without molestation until Tuesday morning, when I pushed forward my whole line of skirmishers to feel the enemy. He was discovered to be in very great force, both of infantry and artillery, with formidable intrenchments. Early on Wednesday morning my outposts reported that the enemy had retired. I again threw forward my skirmishers and found that the entire force had retreated during the night. Following them in person, with a few troops, it was ascertained that they had successfully crossed the river, availing themselves of the very severe storm and darkness of the previous night. The line of their retreat was marked by every evidence of a careful and well-conducted march, but little public or private property, except such as was necessary for hospital purposes, being left behind. On the evening of Wednesday, May sixth, my column was again in motion, and camped that night in their old quarters near Grace Church, having been absent eight days, participating in the achievement of a signal victory, capturing fifteen pieces of artillery, ten flags, seventy-five thousand rounds of small-arm ammunition, and four bushels of musket-caps from the enemy. The small arms, ammunition, and the caps afterwards fell into the hands of Major Allen, corps ordnance officer, and Captain Marye, ordnance officer of
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Doc . 62 .-Hoisting the Black flag — official correspondence and reports.
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