put an end to the pursuit I formed the brigade, and having had ammunition issued to the men, I reported to the Brigadier-General commanding division for orders. He ordered me to move to the earthworks to the left of the road, the second line we had carried, and to relieve General Paxton, which was done, and there we rested for the night. About six o'clock Sunday morning, the third of May, I received orders to advance, the brigade being in the third or reserve line of battle. We moved forward, under heavy shelling, in an open field, and then through a dense wood for about one mile, when we came up with our second line of battle and passed through it. I inquired, as we passed, whose brigade, and was informed it was General Paxton's. We continued to move forward until we came to some other troops, where I ordered a halt, and found that the Third Alabama had lapped over and got in front of the Sixth Alabama, the regiment immediately on its left. While rectifying the line, the Brigadier-General commanding rode up and ordered me to the road with him, and, explaining to me the position of the forces on my right, and the direction I was to pursue, ordered me to push forward over our first line of battle, and dislodge the enemy from Chancellor's hill. In company with Major Whiting, assistant adjutant-general, I immediately started on a run for the centre of the brigade to execute this order, and when near the centre, was stricken down by the fuse of a shell, which disabled me for the balance of the day. I directed Major Whiting to move the brigade forward, and to inform Colonel Hall, of the Fifth Alabama, that the command devolved on him. Colonel Hall was, at the time, on the extreme left of the line with his regiment. The brigade moved forward under a most terrific storm of shell, grape, canister, and musketry, and, for what took place afterwards I respectfully refer you to the report of Colonel Hall, who so bravely led it, and that of Colonel Pickens, who so gallantly resisted the advance on our left, and ask that their reports may be taken and considered a part of this. In obedience to orders from the corps commander to report what standards were captured and which lost, I have the honor to report that the colors of the Fifth Alabama regiment were captured by the enemy in the attack upon the intrenchments at Chancellor's house, on the morning of the third instant. This regiment, supported by only a portion of the Twenty-sixth Alabama and four companies of Iverson's brigade, were the first to charge and carry the enemy's works near the Chancellor house. Having taken possession of the epaulements which commanded the plank road, this regiment moved forward in the charge considerably in advance of the right, and, being unsupported by the brigade on its left, had its left flank turned by a superior force, and was forced to retire from the works. In doing so the color-bearer was wounded, and with the colors and over a hundred of its men were surrounded and captured. Retiring only to the plank road, this regiment again charged and took these works without support, and a second time had to retire before superior numbers. Captured in the midst of the enemy's guns and intrenchments, and some time before any other troops reached that point, the loss of their flag is one of the highest evidences of the gallant and daring services rendered by the Fifth Alabama regiment in the action of that day. I cannot close this report without calling special notice to that assiduous attention to every duty, and that calm courage, coolness, and self-possession exhibited under all circumstances during these trying days, by Major H. A. Whiting, assistant adjutant-general, and most respectfully recommend him to the commanding General for promotion. He was invaluable to me throughout the two engagements of Saturday and Sunday. I am also greatly indebted to Adjutants Pickett and Moore, of the Third and Twenty-sixth Alabama regiments, who acted as Aids, for valuable services in fearlessly carrying and delivering orders. The Brigade Inspector, Lieutenant Partridge, was energetic and untiring in the performance of his duties, and rendered efficient aid. I desire also to mention Mr. Webb Woodruff and Mr. Rittenhouse Moore, who were with me and did good service. Enclosed you will find the reports of regimental commanders, to which I call special attention. Also, lists of casualties. I am, Captain, very respectfully, Your obedient servant,
Edward A. O'Neal, Colonel, commanding Brigade.
Report of Colonel Hall.
headquarters Fifth Alabama regiment, Santee, Caroline county, Virginia, May 8, 1863.Captain: In obedience to an order from headquarters, I have the honor to make the following report of the part taken by Rodes's brigade while under my command, in the battle of Chancellorsville, of the third instant: About six o'clock A. M., the brigade was formed in the third or rear line of battle, and moved forward under the command of Colonel O'Neal. Proceeding about a mile, under a heavy fire of shell, we passed the second line of battle. Here Colonel O'Neal, who had so gallantly led us, was wounded, and this unfortunate circumstance placed me in command of the brigade. Soon we had overtaken the first line of battle, which was moving by the right and left flanks. At this point the brigade was separated, part of the Third and Sixth, and all of the Twelfth Alabama regiments following the troops moving by the left flank, and part of the Sixth, all of the Fifth and Twenty-sixth Alabama following those moving by the right flank; this, owing to the dense forest, was not discovered at the time. I had just assumed command, and had not time to pass to the centre of the brigade before troops were seen in my front. Believing them to be our men, I ordered my command to cease firing and move on, and soon saw from his killed and wounded that it was the enemy. The command was pressed rapidly forward, under a most terrific fire of shell,
Captain H. A. Whiting, A. A. G., Rodes's Brigade:
Captain H. A. Whiting, A. A. G., Rodes's Brigade: