effective of about 72,000 infantry and artillery, and was intrenching himself.
was situated about a mile within the limits of a tract called the Wilderness
It stretched some 12 or 14 miles westward along the Rapidan
and was some 8 or 10 miles in breadth.
The original forest had been cut for charcoal many years before, and replaced by thick and tangled smaller growth.
A few clearings were scattered at intervals, and a few small creeks drained it. Chancellorsville
was merely a brick residence
at an important junction of roads, with a considerable clearing on the west.
Three roads ran toward Fredericksburg
: the old Turnpike most directly; the Plank
road to its right, but uniting with the Turnpike
at Tabernacle Church—about halfway; the River
road to the left, by a roundabout course passing near Banks Ford of the Rappahannock
's line of battle ran from Chancellorsville
, about two miles northeastward to the Rappahannock
, covering United States Ford
Westward it covered the Plank
road for about three miles, ending in a short offset northward.
Intrenchment was quickly done by cutting abattis, or an entanglement, in front, and throwing up slight parapets, or piling breastworks of logs.
About 11 A. M., however, Hooker
prepared to resume his advance, and ordered the 5th and 12th corps to move out on the three roads toward Fredericksburg
and establish a line in the open country beyond the Wilderness
's and Humphreys
's divisions of the 5th were sent down the River
road, on the left, Sykes
's division down the Turnpike
in the centre, and the 12th corps, under Slocum
, down the Plank
road on the right.
's division for an advance, covering both the Pike
and the Plank
's and Mahone
's brigades, with Jordan
's battery of Alexander
's battalion, moved upon the former; Wright
's, and Posey
's brigades, with the remainder of Alexander
's battalion, on the latter.
's division moved by the Pike
, and Lee
, with Jackson
's three divisions, followed the Plank
Thus the two armies were marching toward each other on these two roads, while on the River
road two of the Federal