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[562] too, the two wings of the Federal army were fourteen miles apart — the distance from Chancellorsville to Deep run, below Fredericksburg — and that his army was between them. “Beware of rashness,” General Hooker. Some 50,000 “rebellious Rebels” have, by your own act, been placed between your two wings, and what is worse for you, they are commanded by Lee and Jackson. Oh! “beware of rashness.” General Lee perfectly understood the military problem thus presented to him. Drive the wedge in and keep the two parts assunder. If possible, hold one part still by a feint, or, if necessary, retard its march by a fight. Concentrate upon and overwhelm the other. Sedgwick, in command of the troops in the Confederate front, lay quiet while Hooker was massing at Chancellorsville.

In a conversation with a Confederate officer at Lexington, on February 16, 1868, General Lee said, in regard to Chancellorsville, that “Jackson at first preferred to attack Sedgwick's force in the plain at Fredericksburg, but he told him he feared it was as impracticable as it was at the first battle of Fredericksburg. It was hard to get at the enemy and harder to get away if we drove him into the river.” “But,” said he to Jackson: “If you think it can be done, I will give orders for it.” Jackson then asked to be allowed to examine the ground, and did so during the afternoon, and at night came to Lee and said he thought he (Lee) was right. “It would be inexpedient to attack there.” “Move then,” said Lee, “at dawn to-morrow (the 1st May) up to Anderson,” who had been previously ordered to proceed towards Chancellorsville; “and the next time I saw Jackson,” said General Lee, “was upon the next day, when he was on our skirmish line, driving in the enemy's skirmishers around Chancellorsville.”

Let us follow the movements there first. Hooker, at Morrisville on the 28th, ordered his cavalry corps to cross the river that night or before 8 A. M. on the 29th, above Kelly's ford. A portion to move via Raccoon ford on the Rapidan to Louisa Courthouse, thence to the Richmond, Fredericksburg and Potomac railroad, to operate upon Lee's communications. Another portion was to follow the Orange and Alexandria railroad up through Culpeper, to occupy the Confederate cavalry and to mask the movement. Stuart received orders to get in front, if possible, of the enemy moving towards Chancellorsville, delay him and protect the left of the army. He left W. H. F. Lee with two regiments, the Ninth and Tenth Virginia cavalry, about eight hundred troopers (the remaining

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Fitzhugh Lee (8)
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