army, was only equaled by the audacity of Lee
himself in his willingness to confront and attempt to hold in place the great mass of Hooker
's army with the two divisions of Anderson
The dense forest that covered Hooker
's eastward front prevented his seeing the small force that Lee
held opposed to him; while the fierce demonstrations that Lee
made, all along this front, with infantry and artillery, keeping up an almost continuous fire, deceived Hooker
as to his numbers, and made him hesitate to advance from his intrenchments and ascertain what was really opposed to him. Taking counsel of his fears, he allowed Lee
to hold him all day in check, while Jackson
was eagerly and swiftly marching around his right flank.
The morning sun of the 2d of May was barely visible when Jackson
began his march with Rodes
, commanding D. H. Hill
's old division in front, followed by Colston
and A. P. Hill
; 26,000 war and camp hardened veterans led by Jackson
in person, with four regiments of cavalry, under Stuart
and Fitz Lee
, protecting his flanks.
, from his elevated position in Hooker
's south front, discovered Jackson
's column moving southward, by way of Catherine furnace, and opened on it with his long range artillery.
This caused Jackson
to diverge to his left, after throwing out a brigade to protect his flank.
advanced on this and captured a Georgia regiment, which induced the Federal
officers to believe that Lee
was in retreat toward Richmond
then organized a strong movement in pursuit of Jackson
, sending three divisions after him; but Lee
's guns upon Sickles
and checked his movement.
then called for reinforcements, and late in the afternoon he sent a brigade to the furnace; but it was then too late, for Jackson
's column of march was already far beyond his reach, and so far he had successfully concealed the object and direction of his movement The only result was that Hooker
had sent 20,000 men away from his center, into the tangled wilderness, searching for Jackson
, at the very time that the latter was ready to throw the weight of his whole corps upon Hooker
's extended and weak right flank.
led his flanking movement with even fiercer energy than was his usual characteristic, constantly urging division commanders to ‘Press forward,’ and