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[309] the public felt secure under their shield. To us his place was never filled.

The official return of the Army of Northern Virginia, on March 31, 1863, shows as present for duty 57,112, of which 6,509 were cavalry and 1,621 reserve artillery. On May 20th, two weeks after the battle, when Pickett's and Hood's divisions had rejoined the army, the total infantry force numbered but 55,261 effective men, from which, if the strength of Hood's and Pickett's divisions is deducted, there would remain 41,358 as the strength of the commands that participated in the battles of Chancellorsville.1

The Army of the Potomac numbered 120,000 men, infantry and artillery, with a body of 12,000 well-equipped cavalry, and an artillery force of four hundred guns.2

A brief and forcible account of this battle is given by Taylor:3

A formidable force under General Sedgwick was thrown across the river below Fredericksburg, and made demonstrations of an intention to assail the Confederate front. Meanwhile, with great celerity and secrecy, General Hooker, with the bulk of his army, crossed at the upper fords, and, in an able manner and wonderfully short time, had concentrated four of his seven army corps, numbering fifty-six thousand men, at Chancellorsville, about ten miles west of Fredericksburg. His purpose was now fully developed to General Lee, who, instead of awaiting its further prosecution, immediately determined on the movement the least expected by his opponent. He neither proceeded to make strong his left against an attack from the direction of Chancellorsville nor did he move southward so as to put his army between that of General Hooker and the Confederate capital, but, leaving General Early, with about nine thousand men, to take care of General Sedgwick, he moved with the remainder of his army, numbering forty-eight thousand men, toward Chancellorsville. As soon as the advance of the enemy was encountered, it was attacked with vigor, and very soon the Federal army was on the defensive in its apparently impregnable position. It was not the part of wisdom to attempt to storm this stronghold; but Sedgwick would certainly soon be at work in the rear, and Early, with his inadequate force, could not do more than delay and harass him. It was, therefore, imperatively necessary to strike— to strike boldly, effectively, and at once. There could be no delay. Meanwhile, two more army corps had joined General Hooker, who now had about Chancellorsville ninety-one thousand men—six corps except one division of the Second Corps (Couch's), which had been left with Sedgwick at Fredericksburg. It was a critical position for the Confederate commander, but his confidence in his trusted lieutenant and brave men was such that he did not long hesitate. Encouraged by the counsel and confidence of General Jackson, he determined to still further divide his army; and, while he, with the divisions of Anderson and McLaws, less than fourteen thousand men, should hold the enemy in his front, he would hurl Jackson upon his flank and rear, and crush and crumble him as

1 Taylor's Four Years with General Lee.

2 Swinton's Army of the Potomac, p. 269.

3 Four Years with General Lee.

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