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[465] the Rappahannock, opposite Lee's right, in order to deceive his enemy,) began his movements in earnest. Three corps--Eleventh, Twelfth and Fifth--were moved up the river to Kelly's Ford. Here they crossed on the 29th, and proceeded towards Germanna and Ely's fords, on the Rapidan. Stoneman, with the mass of his cavalry, set out on the same day from Kelly's, on his way to the Confederate rear. By 2 P. M., on Thursday, April 30th, the three infantry corps had reached Chancellorsville, where they were joined the same evening by two-thirds of the Second corps, which had crossed at United States ford. The Third corps was next ordered up from Fredericksburg, and reached Chancellorsville before midday on Friday, May 1st. Thus Hooker was rapidly concentrating over seventy thousand men at Chancellorsville, on Lee's flank. Meantime, the First and Sixth corps, and Gibbons's division of the Second, had been left at Fredericksburg under Sedgwick, to make demonstrations and distract the enemy. Pontoons had been laid down at Burnside's old crossing places, and troops thrown over the river on the 29th, and the First and Sixth corps, comprising over forty thousand men, there threatened the Confederate lines in front.

Lee's situation was one of great difficulty and danger. With but little over fifty thousand men, he had in front over forty thousand under Sedgwick, while Hooker was gathering seventy thousand on his flank, and Stoneman with ten thousand cavalry was in his rear. To oppose this last force, he had only eight or nine hundred troopers that could be spared. By the night of Thursday 30th, the inaction of Sedgwick, and the rapid advance of large bodies to Chancellorsville, of whose movements Stuart had kept him informed, convinced General Lee that the main attack was to proceed from that quarter. Leaving eight thousand or nine thousand men under Early to hold the lines in front of Fredericksburg, and keep Sedgwick in check, he decided to move out at once with the remainder of his army and give Hooker battle.

Anderson's division was already on Hooker's front. McLaws was ordered to move to Anderson's support, followed by Jackson. The troops were moving during the night of Thursday, and by 8 A. M. Friday Jackson had reached the Confederate front near Chancellors-ville, and assumed command until General Lee, at a later hour, reached the field. As soon as the Confederates met the advancing Federals they were formed in line and ordered forward. The Federal skirmishers were driven in, and the heads of the Federal columns attacked with vigor, and after a short and not severe fight, General Hooker ordered a retreat to Chancellorsville. This was a great blunder, and it seems to have been entirely Hooker's. He had reached Chancellorsville on

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