‘To the edge of the wood that was Ringed with flame’: Wilderness trees after the artillery firing that followed the cavalry charge Blasted by the artillery fire that saved the Federals at Chancellorsville, the Wilderness woods, only a couple of hundred yards south of the Plank Road, reveal the desperate nature of the conflict in the early evening of May 2, 1863. Of the close of the fight, the Union General Alfred Pleasonton reported: ‘It was now dark, and their presence could only be ascertained by the flash of their muskets, from which a continuous stream of fire was seen encircling us, and gradually extending to our right, to cut us off from the army. This was at last checked by our guns, and the rebels withdrew. Several guns and caissons were then recovered from the woods where the enemy had been posted. Such was the fight at the head of Scott's Run. Artillery against infantry at 300 yards; the infantry in the woods, the artillery in the clearing. War presents many anomalies, but few so curious and strange in its results.’
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