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[379]

Exulting in the success of his strategic movement which had placed him, without loss, on Lee's flank, Hooker issued to his command, on the 30th, a general order, in which he said, among other boastful things: ‘Our enemy must ingloriously fly or come from behind his defenses and give us battle on our own ground, Where certain destruction awaits him.’ Lee quietly, but quickly, accepted the challenge, thus thrown out, and at midnight of the same day ordered Jackson's corps, which he had some days before concentrated in the vicinity of his battle line of the 13th of December, to march from Hamilton's crossing by the old Mine road toward Tabernacle church. By 8 of the morning of Friday, May 1st, a portion of Jackson's corps joined Anderson, and Lee was ready to meet any advances Hooker might make toward Fredericksburg.

Lee left Early in command at Fredericksburg, with his own division, Barksdale's brigade of McLaws' division, and the reserve artillery under Pendleton, to watch the movements of Sedgwick. This disposition of forces placed Lee's army directly between the two widely-separated wings of Hooker's army, while the cavalry of the latter was still further detached, seeking to destroy Lee's lines of communication. These conditions compelled Lee to face his army in both directions, which he resolutely did, and prepared for the conflict, contrary to Hooker's expectations. Early, with 30 guns and 8,500 infantrymen, stretched his thin line along the whole length of Lee's defenses of the previous December, and with characteristic alertness awaited Sedgwick's movements.

The mass of Lee's army, some 41,000 men, under Jackson, Anderson and McLaws, were moved to within four miles of Chancellorsville, and these, just before noon of May 1st, advanced and drove back Hooker's skirmishers, who were in the act of opening the way to Fredericksburg. Lee himself spent the forenoon of the day with Early, watching, from his old battlefield position, the Federal demonstrations on Stafford heights and on the Rappahannock plain, and counseling Early to hold fast his position and not be deceived by Sedgwick's demonstrations; advice that he well knew would be implicitly followed by the courageous old fighter to whom he gave it.

When Jackson reached the vicinity of Tabernacle

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