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As, in the various accounts of the battle, the Plank road and the old Stone turnpike are frequently mentioned without the distinction between them being always observed, it is thought proper to state that the two roads are nearly parallel to each other for the greater part of the way from Orange Courthouse, the old Stone turnpike being north of the Plank road; but at the Wilderness Church, about two miles west of Chancellorsville, the two roads unite and run together from that point to the latter place. West of the Wilderness Church General Jackson had crossed the Plank Toad to the old Stone turnpike and moved along the latter, with his lines across it at right angles, until he struck the enemy, and until the two roads united; so that in the description of the movements made after the enemy's right had been routed, including the circumstances attending his wounding, the two terms indicate the same road. This road is briefly designated by Captain Wilbourn as the “pike.”

His account of the whole affair shows how very erroneous are the generally received accounts; and it now appears that instead of riding to the front to reconnoitre the enemy and then imprudently galloping back towards his own line, General Jackson was slowly riding to the front, while making every effort to hurry forward the troops, when he was fired upon by a portion of his own men on the right (south) of the road and obliquely from the rear, and that then the horses of his party that were not shot down wheeled to the left, and he galloped into the woods on the left to escape the fire, when he was fired upon by another body of troops on the north side of the road. This firing, lamentable as were its consequences, was in both instances the result of accident, or rather of that confusion inevitable in all attempts to operate with troops in the dark while they are under excitement. The writer of this has perhaps been under fire as often as any man of his day, and the result of his experience and observation has been to convince him that the dangers attending offensive movements of troops in the night, especially in the forepart of the night, when the opposite side is on the alert, from mistakes or collision on the part of those taking the offensive, are not counterbalanced by any advantages likely to result; and to sustain him in this opinion he can confidently appeal to the judgment of those who have had any experience. In operating in a thickly-wooded country the dangers are increased very greatly.1 While, therefore, Captain Wilbourn's

1 This opinion is not expressed for the purpose of criti<*>sing the proposed movement by General Jackson. Stimulated by the achievement of victory and inspired by the hope of making it decisive, he, at the moment, perhaps, overlooked the fact that all of his soldiers did not preserve that equipoise of mind necessary to prevent mistakes and accidents under such circumstances. The disaster which befell the army in his own misfortune is a confirmation of the opinion above expressed.

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