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[168] near Chancellorsville. Disguising himself, he silenty left camp about midnight. He had not gone far before he came upon a solitary Confederate soldier, squatted over a little fire, trying to cook tender a small piece of poor and very tough beef, his only ration. After conversing a short while with this lone ration cooker, he found him to be an intelligent and well informed man, one born and raised in the immediate neighborhood and thoroughly acquainted with every road and by-path in all that section.

After fully assuring himself of this man's reliability and fitness as a guide, he made himself known, and securing consent of the soldier's captain, took him with him, and soon by his guidance, had examined the ground in Hooker's rear. Jackson returned to his troops, and soon had them in motion in the direction of Richmond. This was only a feint, however, and induced the Federals to think that he (Jackson) was either unwilling to meet them in battle or had gone to look after Stoneman, who was endeavoring to cut off Lee's supplies. In this direction, however, Jackson did not go very far before he suddenly turned toward Hooker's rear, near Chancellorsville.

With his sharpshooters and a part of Stuart's cavalry between him and the enemy, thus concealing his main forces, he succeeded in carrying his men completely around the unsuspecting Federals.

While witnessing all this, the writer, though young, had had a fair military education while at school, and some experience while in command of a Georgia regiment, which was then on the ground with some other troops belonging to General Longstreet's corps, could not help thinking, and so expressed himself to one of his superior officers, that Lee, outnumbered as he was at least two or three to one, would be compelled to fall back. But this did not prove to be so, as the ubiquitous ‘Stonewall’ was soon pouring heavy volleys from his artillery and infantry into the flanks and rear of Hooker's thoroughly surprised, and soon to be demoralized and routed legions. Taking advantage of Hooker's surprise, Jackson rushed forward with the velocity of a meteor and the fury of a thunderstorm, and pushed Hooker and his powerful army back until nightfall, when his victorious troops fell down from sheer exhaustion, and bivouacked on the field, surrounded on all sides by the wounded and slain of both armies.

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