in front of Fredericksburg
in which Lee
had placed him, and was keeping Sedgwick
from making an advance, when a member of Lee
's staff brought him an order, which he had misunderstood, directing Early
to abandon his position and march toward Chancellorsville
This withdrawal of Early
from the right which he was holding with his division, all along Jackson
's old position down to Hamilton
's crossing, uncovered Barksdale
's right on Marye heights back of Fredericksburg
, and opened the way for Sedgwick
to march against him in safety.
The order to Early
was countermanded, and on the morning of Monday, the 3d, he marched back to his former position only to see Sedgwick
move 20,000 men against Barksdale
's flank of 1,000 soldiers with artillery.
won the much fought for and much coveted position, but with .great loss, as Barksdale
clung to it till overwhelmed by numbers.
This capture enabled Sedgwick
to move his corps, of 30,000 men, past Early
's left on to the plateau west of Fredericksburg
, and to the possession of the river and plank roads leading toward Chancellorsville
, thus giving him opportunity to fall on Lee
's rear while Hooker
was contending with his front.
, of Anderson
's division, who had been left in observation near Banks' ford, promptly threw his brigade across the plank road, at Salem church, in a strong position, and informed Lee
of the situation.
He immediately dispatched McLaws
with four brigades down the old turnpike and the plank road to reinforce Wilcox
, thus meeting the emergency and providing, for a second time, against a rear attack by Sedgwick
marched rapidly to Salem church and at once joined Wilcox
in an issue with Sedgwick
, forcing him back a mile toward Fredericksburg
, beyond the ravine of Colin run, just as the day closed.
Summing up the events of the 3d of May, Lee
sent a message to President Davis
, saying: ‘We have again to thank God for a great victory.’
On Monday, May 4th, leaving Trimble
's) and D. H. Hill
') divisions in front of the formidable works at Chancellorsville
, behind which Hooker
had sought safety, Lee
in person led Anderson
's brigades to Salem church, where by midday he placed a formidable line of battle in position, with numerous batteries, covering the front of Sedgwick
's lines, which extended across the bend of the Rappahannock