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[387] Grove toward Jackson's front, they were driven back by Hill's skirmishers. Sickles then turned the larger part of his command against the flank of Hooker's retreating Twelfth corps, and entered into a fight with Slocum's men, of his own army, claiming that in this fight with his associates he had recaptured the plank road and that his men had inflicted the fatal wound on Jackson.

After Jackson had been removed to the field hospital and his arm had been amputated, and before the arrival of Stuart, after a consultation with Adjt.-Gen. A. S. Pendleton, Captain Hotchkiss, guided by a young Doctor Chancellor, of the vicinage, by a wide detour to the southward, rode to Lee, informed him of the position of the Second corps, and of what had happened up to the time of his leaving. Lee, thus informed, gave orders for Stuart to incline his lines to the right, while he would incline those under his immediate command to the left, and thus form a connected line of battle, which would, on the morning of the 3d, make a front attack on Hooker and drive him back from Chancellorsville toward the Rappahannock.

Captain Wilbourne, signal officer of the Second corps, reached Lee at about the same time that Captain Hotchkiss did, and gave further information from his points of observation. Choked with emotion, General Lee received the news of the wounding of Jackson, and sadly remarked: β€˜Any victory is dearly bought which deprives us of the services of General Jackson, even for a short time.’ Soon after, having had his arm disabled by the springing aside of his horse against a tree, Lee dictated this letter to Jackson:

I have just received your note informing me that you were wounded. I cannot express my regret at the occurrence. Could I have directed events, I should have chosen for the good of the country to be disabled in your stead. I congratulate you upon the victory which is due to your skill and energy.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

R. E. Lee, General.

This letter was read to Jackson the next day, while the fierce battle was raging in the immediate vicinity of Chancellorsville. Turning aside his face from the one who read it, Jackson said: β€˜General Lee is very kind, but he should give the praise to God.’

Dawn of the morning of Sunday, May 3d, found Lee

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