pronounced a direct attack impracticable.
then said to Jackson
, ‘We must attack from our left;’ and Jackson
was directed to prepare for such a movement.
These two leaders and their staffs then sought sleep, as best they could, in a cold night of the early springtime, wrapped in their overcoats, under the sheltering pines and oaks.
, in the meantime, had informed Lee
of the disposition of all of Hooker
's forces on the field of action, especially of those of his right wing, which extended far out along the plank road to beyond its intersection with the Ely's ford
road, held by the Federal
By early dawn of the next morning, Jackson
sent his topographical engineer, Capt. Jed. Hotchkiss
, to Catherine furnace to ascertain whether there was a shorter road around Hooker
's front and right to his rear, than the one by way of Todd
Informed, at an early hour, of the shortest way, Jackson
, after a short conference with Lee
, in which he secured permission to take his whole corps with him in his flank movement, promptly marched, first southward, then southwestward, to the Brock
road, thence northwestward, by that road, to the plank road, thus traversing nearly the entire front of Hooker
's position, and turning his right.
He then formed his command in three lines of battle, with Rodes
(D. H. Hill
's division) in front, supported by Colston
's division), and he in turn by part of A. P. Hill
When the Orange
road was reached, Paxton
's ‘Stonewall brigade,’ of Trimble
's division, was advanced on that road so that it constituted an extension of Rodes
' right when the forward movement took place.
, in his report, describes the origin of Jackson
's flank movement in these words:
I decided against it [an attack upon Hooker's central works] and stated to General Jackson, we must attack on our left as soon as practicable, and the necessary movement of the troops began immediately.
In consequence of a report received about that time from Gen. Fitz Lee, describing the position of the Federal army and the roads which he held with his cavalry leading to its rear, General Jackson, after some inquiry concerning the roads leading to the furnace, undertook to throw his command entirely in Hooker's rear, which he accomplished with equal skill and boldness; the rest of the army being moved to the left flank to connect with him as he advanced.
The audacity of Jackson's
flank movement, by which Lee
entirely detached from himself the larger part of his