and batteries below and near the Pratt house
's fire was not returned, but Graham
's and Brown
's was responded to by two of the batteries on the north bank and some guns on the south side.
Shortly afterwards the infantry and artillery at the lower crossing disappeared behind the bank of the river, and that crossing was abandoned.
During the morning I rode to Lee's Hill
for the purpose of observing the enemy's movements from that point, and I observed a considerable portion of his infantry in motion up the opposite river bank.
While I was, in company with Generals Barksdale
, observing the enemy's manoeuvre and trying to ascertain what it meant, at about 11 o'clock A. M., Colonel R. H. Chilton
, of General Lee
's staff, came to me with a verbal order to move up immediately towards Chancellorsville
with my whole force, except a brigade of infantry and Pendleton
's reserve artillery, and to leave at Fredericksburg
the brigade of infantry and a part of the reserve artillery to be selected by General Pendleton
, with instructions to the commander of this force to watch the enemy's movements, and keep him in check if possible, but if he advanced with too heavy a force to retire on the road to Spottsylvania Court-House-General Pendleton
being required to send the greater part of his reserve artillery to the rear at once.
This order took me very much by surprise, and I remarked to Colonel Chilton
that I could not retire my troops without their being seen by the enemy, whose position on Stafford Heights
not only overlooked ours, but who had one or two balloons which he was constantly sending up from the heights to make observations, and stated that he would inevitably move over and take possession of Fredericksburg
and the surrounding Heights.
said he presumed General Lee
understood all this, but that it was much more important for him to have troops where he was, than at Fredericksburg
, and if he defeated the enemy there he could easily