have been had all of Jackson
's troops been upon the field, and had his orders been strictly observed.
The casualties of the Confederates
are not known, their returns consolidating all separate actions together.
Much undeserved obloquy was heaped upon the 11th corps for their enforced retreat.
No troops could have acted differently.
All of their fighting was of one brigade at a time against six.
With the capture of the Buschbeck position, the fighting of the day practically ceased.
The Confederate troops were at the limit of exhaustion and disorganization.
Daylight was fading fast, and commands badly intermingled.
The pursuit was kept up, however, for some distance, although the enemy was no longer in sight.
A few hundred yards beyond the Buschbeck position, the Plank
road entered a large body of forest, closing on both sides of the road for nearly a mile before the open Chancellorsville plateau is reached.
At the entrance of the wood a single Federal gun, with a small escort, was formed as a rearguard, and followed the retreat to Chancellorsville
without seeing any pursuers.
A notable case of acoustic shadows occurred during this action.
, some two and a half miles away, heard nothing of the attack upon Howard
until word was brought him, which he at first refused to believe.
At 6.30 P. M., Hooker
sat on the veranda of the Chancellorsville house
in entire confidence that Lee
was retreating to Gordonsville
and that Sickles
was ‘among his trains.’
Faint sounds of distant cannonading were at first supposed to come from Sickles
Presently, an aid looking down the road with his glass suddenly shouted, ‘My God!
here they come.’
All sprang to their horses and, riding down the road, met, in a half-mile, the fugitive rabble of Howard
's corps, and learned that Jackson
, with half of Lee
's army, had routed the Federal
Had there been some hours of daylight, Hooker
's position would have been critical.
were now less than two miles apart, and between them were of infantry less than two divisions; Geary
's of the 12th corps in front of Lee
, and two brigades of Berry
's of the 3d, near the path of Jackson
But darkness puts an embargo upon offensive operations in a