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[212] three divisions of Jackson's corps had moved up during the night of the 30th of April and the morning of the 1st of May and united with Anderson. Our troops had thus moved forward on the Plank road and the stone turnpike, Anderson's and McLaws' divisions in front, and Jackson's divisions following Anderson's on the Plank road, and had driven an advanced line of the enemy back to within a mile of Chancellorsville upon his main force.

Early on the morning of the 2nd, Anderson's and McLaws' divisions, with the exception of Wilcox's brigade of Anderson's division, which had been sent back to Banks' Ford, and Barksdale's brigade of McLaws' division which was at Fredericksburg, were left to confront the enemy on the side next to Fredericksburg, and Jackson moved with his three divisions, by a circuitous route to the left, to gain the rear of the enemy's right. Late in the afternoon, General Jackson reached the rear of the enemy's right flank about three miles beyond Chancellorsville, and with Rodes in front-followed by Colston with Trimble's division, and A. P. Hill,--advanced at once with great vigor, driving the enemy before him, carrying position after position, routing entirely one corps, and capturing a number of guns and prisoners, until his advance was arrested by the abattis in front of the central position near Chancellorsville. Night had come on by this time, and General Jackson ordered A. P. Hill's division, which was following in rear of the other two, to the front to take the place of the latter. He himself went to the front to reconnoitre for the purpose of ordering another advance, and, having sent an order to Hill to press on, while returning in the darkness was shot and dangerously wounded 1 under an unfortunate mistake, by a part of Hill's advancing troops. General


Some conflicting accounts of the manner in which General Jackson was shot have been published, and as you were with him, I will be very much obliged, if you will give me all the details of the affair. With pleasant recollections of your official connection with me,

Yrs. very truly J. A. Early. Lynchburg, Feb. 12, 1873.

General J. A. early:
I give you the facts relating to the wounding of General T. J. Jackson. As the details of the battle are familiar to you, I will begin with Jackson's movements after the battle was over, and all seemed quiet, the enemy having disappeared from our immediate front, and all firing consequently having ceased. Jackson took advantage of this lull in the storm to relieve Rodes' troops (who had been fighting and steadily advancing and making repeated charges from the time the fight began), and had ordered General Hill to the front to relieve Rodes with his fresh troops, directing the change to be made as quickly as possible. We were within a half mile of the open fields near Chancellorsville, where the enemy was supposed to be strongly entrenched. While the change was being made Jackson manifested great impatience to get Hill's troops into line and ready to move promptly, and to accomplish this he sent the members of his staff with orders to Hill and other general officers to hurry up the movement. From the orders sent to General Stuart it was evident that his intention was to storm the enemy's works at Chancellorsville as soon as the lines were formed, and before the enemy recovered from the shock and confusion of the previous fighting, and to place; the left of his army between Hooker and the river. While these orders were being issued Jackson sat on his horse just in front — of the line on the pike. From this point he sent me with an order to General Hill. I galloped back and met Hill, in about 50 yards, riding along the pike towards General Jackson. I turned and rode with him to his lines, he stopping within a few feet of their front. I then rode immediately on to General Jackson, who was in sight, and only a few paces in front of Hill, just in the position I had left him. As I reached him, he sent off the only staff officer present, with orders to Hill to move forward as soon as possible, and then started slowly along the pike towards the enemy. I rode at his left side, two of my signal men just behind us, followed by couriers, etc., in columns of twos. General Jackson thought, while awaiting Hill's movements, that he would ride to the front, as far as the skirmish line, or pickets, and ascertain what could be seen or heard of the enemy and his movements,--supposing there was certainly a line of skirmishers in front, as his orders were always very imperative to keep a skirmish line in front of the line of battle. When we had ridden only a few rods and reached a point nearly opposite an old dismantled house in the woods (near the road to our right) and while I was delivering to him General Hill's reply to his order-given a few moments before,--to our great surprise our little party was fired upon by about a battalion or probably less of our troops, a little to our right and to the right of the pike, the balls passing diagonally across the pike and apparently aimed at us. There seemed to be one gun discharged, followed almost instantly by this volley. The single gun may have been discharged accidentally, but seemed to have been taken as a signal by the troops, to announce the approach of the enemy. I hardly think the troops saw us, though they could hear our horses' feet on the pike and probably fired at random in the supposed direction of the enemy. However, the origin of the firing is mere conjecture, but it came as above stated, and many of the escorts and their horses were shot down. At the firing our horses wheeled suddenly to the left and General Jackson, at whose side I rode, galloped away-followed by the few who were not dismounted by the first firing,--into the woods to get out of range of the bullets, and approached our line: a little obliquely, but had not gone over 20 steps beyond the edge of the pike, into the thicket, ere the brigade just to the left of the turnpike (on our right as we approached from the direction of the enemy), drawn up within 30 yards of us, fired a volley in their turn, kneeling on the right knee, as shown by the flash of their guns, as though prepared to guard against cavalry. By this fire General Jackson was wounded. These troops evidently mistook us for the enemy's cavalry. We could distinctly hear General Hill calling, at the top of his voice, to his troops to make them cease firing. He knew that we had just passed in front of him, as did the troops immediately on the pike, and I don't think these latter fired. I was alongside of Jackson, and saw his arm fall at his side, loosing the rein, when the volley came from the left. His horse wheeled suddenly and ran through the bushes toward the enemy. The limb of a tree took off his cap and threw him flat on the back on his horse. I rode after him, passing under the same limb, which took off my hat also, but Jackson soon regained his seat, caught the bridle in his right hand, and turning his horse towards the pike and our men, somewhat checked his speed. As he turned to the pike, it gave me the inside track, and I caught his horse as he reached the pike, which he was approaching at an acute angle. Just as I caught the reins, Captain Wynn rode up on the opposite side of him and caught hold of the reins on that side, almost simultaneously. By this time the confusion was over and all was quiet, and looking up and down the pike in every direction, no living creature could be seen save us three.

As soon as I could check Jackson's horse, I dismounted, and seeing that he was faint, I asked him what I could do for him, or if he felt able to ride as far as into our lines. He answered, “You had best take me down,” leaning, as he spoke, toward me and then falling, partially fainting from loss of blood.

I was on the side of the broken arm, while his horse had his head turned towards the enemy and about where we were when first fired upon, and would not be kept still, as he was frightened and suffering from his own wounds. As General Jackson fell over on me, I caught him in my arms, and held him until Captain Wynn could get his feet out of the stirrups, then we carried him in our arms some 10 or 15 steps north of the pike, where he was laid on the ground, resting his head in my lap, while I proceeded to dress his wounds, cutting off his coat sleeves, and binding a handkerchief tightly above and below his wound and putting his arm in a sling. Wynn went for Dr. McGuire and an ambulance, and I was left alone with him until General Hill came up. Just before Hill reached us, Jackson revived a little and asked me to have a skilful surgeon attend him. When I told him what had been done he said “Very good.”

The enemy evidently thought the firing had thrown our men into confusion and resolved to take advantage of it by making a determined attack at this time, so in a few minutes, it was announced by Lieutenant Morrison, who had joined Jackson while he was lying on the ground, and now ran up in a very excited manner, crying out, “The enemy is within 50 yards and advancing. Let us take the General away.” Jackson was still lying with his head in my lap, I had finished tying up his arm where it was broken, and asked him where his other wound was, and what I should do for that, when he replied, “In my right hand, but never mind that, it is a mere trifle.” He said nothing about the wound in his left wrist, and did not seem aware of it, doubtless owing to the fact that the arm was broken above. Upon hearing Morrison's warning, I sprang up, and said, “Let us take the General in our arms, and carry him back,” to which he replied, “No, if you will help me up, I can walk.” He had only gone a few steps, when we met a litter and placed him on it. He was being borne off on foot, supported by Captain Lee and one or two others, I walking between them and the pike, and leading three horses, trying to keep the troops, then moving down the pike, from seeing who it was, but found this impossible, and we met some men with this litter before we had gone ten steps. While placing Jackson on it, the enemy opened fire on us at short range, from a battery planted on the pike and with infantry; a terrific fire of grape, shell, minie balls, etc., and advancing at a rapid rate. Everything seemed to be seized with a panic, and taken by surprise, our line was thrown into confusion. It recoiled and for awhile continued to give way, and the enemy pressed forward. Such was the disorder that I thought that General Jackson and party would certainly fall into the hands of the enemy. The horses jerked loose, and ran in every direction, and before we proceeded fax one of the litter bearers was shot, having both of his arms broken, and General Jackson fell to the ground. As he lay there he grew faint from loss of blood, having fallen on his wounded side, and his arm began to bleed afresh. I rode away to try to get some whiskey for the purpose of reviving him, and at a short distance met Dr. McGuire and Colonel Pendleton, to whom I told what had happened, as we rode towards the place where I left Jackson. The ambulance came up; we hurried it to the front, and, reaching Jackson, placed him in it. As soon as the ambulance left, I was ordered by Colonel Pendleton, after consul- tation with General Rodes, to go to General Lee as quickly as possible and communicate the intelligence to him, explaining our position, what had been accomplished, who had taken command; and ask him to come to that place.

During the attack on our forces so many of our men had gone past us that we seemed to be left with no troops between us and the enemy, and I made up my mind to remain with the General to nurse him, as it seemed we should soon be in their hands However, the gallant Pender —— in command after the wounding of General Hill--soon rallied his line and pressed forward, driving the enemy back to his works, at which quiet was restored for th3 night, the fight having ended as suddenly as it began.

Many people have thought it strange that Jackson should give an order to troops to fire at everything, especially cavalry approaching from the direction of the enemy, and then place himself in a situation to have himself fired upon. I heard of no such order, and feel sure that none such was given. If such had been the order it would have been given to the skirmish line, and there could have been no necessity for such an order to them, as they would do this anyway.

R. E. Welbourn. (Chief Signal Officer, 2nd Army Corps, 1863, Lieutenant General Jackson, commanding.)

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