previous next

[566] point where the Mine road crosses the turnpike. General Lee's line of battle was now within a mile of Chancellorsville, and close up to the enemy's entrenchments. Here, as he says, the enemy had “assumed a position of great natural strength, surrounded on all sides by a dense forest, filled with tangled undergrowth, in the midst of which breastworks of logs had been constructed with trees felled in front, so as to form an almost impenetrable abatis. His artillery swept the few narrow roads by which his position could be approached from the front, and commanded the adjacent works.”

The left of Hooker's lines, extending from Chancellorsville to the Rappahannock, covered the United States ford, where, using a pontoon, he communicated with Sedgwick. From Chancellorsville, the right of his line ran at first in front of the Plank road, but was then retired, until it met again at Dowdall's or Melzei Chancellor's, the line forming the arc — the road the chord. From Dowdall's the line ran west to Wilderness church. At that point separates the Plank road and Old turnpike, which from Chancellorsville had been the same road, the former being the most southerly one.

Hooker's line ran west from this point along the Old turnpike. His right was held by O. O. Howard's Eleventh corps--two regiments and two companies of Colonel Van Gilsa's brigade of Deven's division occupying the extreme right, at right angles to the Old turnpike and to the west of the line running, in part, along it to the north of it, and facing west. Howard's report, which I quote partly to show the different nations the Southern people were fighting, says: “Schurz prolonged Devens' line eastward. He had three regiments of General Schimmelfennig's deployed and two in reserve; also two regiments of Colonel Krzyzanowski's brigade. General Steinwehr had two regiments of Colonel Bushbeck's and four guns of General Wiederich's were posted on Steinwehr's right.”

Hooker's line of battle was in the shape of a V, well spread open at the ends, the apex being at Chancellorsville.

The problem presented to General Lee's mind on Friday night, May 1st, was to decide how best to attack Hooker's army on the morning of May 2d. Time was an important element; for near Fredericksburg, in his rear, was Sedgwick, largely outnumbering the Confederate force in his front under Early. During the afternoon, General Lee wished to attack from his right and cut Hooker off from United States ford, severing his communications with Sedgwick,

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)
hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Old Joe Hooker (5)
Sedgwick (3)
Fitzhugh Lee (3)
Steinwehr (2)
O. O. Howard (2)
Dowdall (2)
Wiederich (1)
Carl Schurz (1)
Schimmelfennig (1)
Krzyzanowski (1)
Gilsa (1)
J. A. Early (1)
Charles Devens (1)
Deven (1)
Melzei Chancellor (1)
Bushbeck (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
May 2nd (1)
May 1st (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: