to examine the ground, and did so during the afternoon, and at night came to Lee and said he thought he [Lee] was right.
It would be inexpedient to attack there.
Move, then, said Lee, up to Anderson, who had been previously ordered to proceed to Chancellorsville.
And the next time I saw Jackson, says General Lee, was the next day-May 1st-when he was on our skirmish lipe, driving in the enemy's skirmishers around Chancellorsville.
McLaws reached Anderson's position before sunrise on the 1st, and Jackson at 8 A. M. It was determined to hammer Hooker while Sedgwick was held at arm's length.
Lee wisely selected Early to keep, if possible, Sedgwick out of the difficulty he proposed to have with Hooker, and, in addition to his own division, gave him Barksdale's brigade of McLaws's division and the reserve artillery under General Pendleton.
Jackson found Anderson some six miles from Chancellorsville, intrenching.
He ordered the work discontinued, for, as usual, he wanted at once t
s front a superb defensive position.
Lee's army was practically concentrated on the night of the 1st, except his cavalry and Pickett's infantry division, Ewell and Hill in front of the enemy, and Loe rear.
Meade and his Second Corps were at Taneytown, in Maryland, when the sun went down on the 1st, thirteen miles distant; the Fifth Corps, at Union Mills, twenty-three miles distant and the Sixt face to face sooner than contemplated.
Meade received Hancock's report on the evening of the 1st, and determined in consequence to fight the battle at Gettysburg, and issued orders for the movemeft on picket on Marsh Creek, east of which stream Longstreet's corps bivouacked the night of the 1st, left its post after sunrise, passed through Hood's and McLaws's divisions, whose arms were stackom his cavalry; second, the omission of positive orders to Ewell to advance on the evening of the 1st,
General Meade told General Ewell, after the war, had he occu-pied Culp's Hill at 4 P. M., Jul
him to say, would preach his fiftieth anniversary sermon.
God bless and guard you.
A few days before he had written:
Richmond, May 8, 1861.
I received yesterday your letter of the 5th.
I grieve at the anxiety that drives you from your home.
I can appreciate your feelings on the occasion, and pray that you may receive comfort and strength in the difficulties that surround you. When I reflect upon the calamity pending over the country my own sorrows sink into insignificance.
On the 2d of the same month he told her: I have just received Custis's letter of the 30th, inclosing the acceptance of my resignation.
It is stated it will take effect on the 25th of April.
I resigned on the 20th, and wished it to take effect on that day. I can not consent to its running on further, and he must receive no pay if they tender it beyond that day, but return the whole if need be.
And again, in a letter May 16, 1861, he writes: I witnessed the opening of the convention yesterday, and hear
ld bring his two fine corps, the Fifth and Sixth, on the field in time, and was solicitous about his depot of supplies at Westminster.
As late as 3 P. M. on the 2d, and before he was attacked, he telegraphed in cipher to Halleck that if his enemy did not attack, and he finds it hazardous to do so, or is satisfied the enemy is
It was clearly the duty of Longstreet to carry out his commander's views and not lapse into refractoriness.
Lee might possibly have moved toward Frederick on the 2d, and thus forced Meade to fall back to Westminster, but he could not hope to reach Baltimore or Washington, or a point between these cities before Meade.
From Westt corps and its supports was consummate daring.
Longstreet, re-enforced by Pickett's three brigades, which arrived near the battlefield during the afternoon of the 2d, was ordered to attack next morning, said Lee, and General Ewell was directed to assail the enemy's right at the same time.
During the night General Johnson was re
roops were forced back to an inner line whose flanks rested on the river above and below Petersburg, and there resisted all further attempts to break through them.
Before 10 A. M., Lee knew he could only hope to cling to his trenches until night, and that the longer defense of Richmond and Petersburg was not possible.
All his skill would be required to extricate his army and get it out and away from the old lines.
Longstreet reached Lee from the north side of the James about 10 A. M. on the 2d, with Field's division.
It is stated that he had not perceived that the Federal lines in front of Richmond had been weakened by transferring troops to the vicinity of Petersburg, and hence did not move to Lee earlier, as he had been instructed to do in that event.
In the midst of the turmoil, excitement, and danger, Lee was as calm and collected as ever.
When the Sixth Corps broke over A. P. Hill's lines, that officer was at General Lee's headquarters at the Turnbull House, and rode at once
nt of Hooker's 73,000, while Jackson marched by a wide circuit with less than 30,000, to gain the Union right rear.
Reynolds's First Corps on that day was marching from Sedgwick to Hooker.
It numbered 19,595, and reached Hooker at daylight on the 3d. General Hooker then had around Chancellorsville 92,719 men.
At Austerlitz, when the Russians made the flank movement around the French right, Napoleon moved at once upon the weakened line of the allies in his front and burst through it. LeavinLee, and between us Lee must be used up.
This order was issued under the impression that Sedgwick was on the north side of the river, but it found him below Fredericksburg on the south side.
He moved up during the night, and on the morning of the 3d, after three assaults, carried Marye's Hill, capturing eight pieces of artillery upon that and the adjacent heights.
Wilcox, who was at Banks's Ford, threw himself in front of Sedgwick's advance up the plank road and gallantly disputed it, falling
o knew the value of time, obeyed orders with promptness and without argument, Lee's movement on Meade's left could have commenced at seven or eight o'clock A. M., with all the chances for success, and there would probably have been no combat on the 3d.
The Third Federal Corps was not all up at the hour the attack should have been made, or a division of the Fifth, or the reserve artillery, or the Sixth Corps.
When McLaws and Hood advanced, eight or nine hours afterward, the conditions had chrom an excess of good-nature.
The intelligent and impartial critic must admit the offensive dispositions of Lee skillful; the Union left on the 2d to a late hour was most vulnerable, and upon it the attack was designed; while the assault on the 3d, if not surrounded with as many chances of success as on the former day, was made at a point where, if successful, he would have secured the great roads to Baltimore and Washington.
It was not unlike Napoleon's tactics at Waterloo; the artillery f
kirmish or preliminary line was carried, but the main position was immovable, of which, after the loss of two thousand men, Smith and Wright became convinced.
The 2d of June, says Grant, was spent in getting troops into position for attack on the 3d; on the 3d of June we again assaulted the enemy's work in the hope of driving him from his position.
In this attempt our loss was heavy while that of the enemy, I have reason to believe, was comparatively light.
This remarkable assault deserves most extraordinary blunder in military annals will alone make it famous.
Nearly all of the one hundred and thirteen thousand troops then at Cold Harbor, in double lines of battle six miles long, sprang to arms at half-past 4 on the morning of the 3d, and, in obedience to the customary order to attack along the whole line, assailed the army of Lee and were terribly slaughtered at every point.
There has been no instance of such destructive firing attended with such small loss to the men who wer
jectiles passed over the heights, so that the Southern army would not be much exposed to that fire, while a plunging fire from Lee's batteries on the Federal troops in the plains below must have resulted most disastrously.
The only reference known to the loss of this great opportunity by the Southern army is to be found in the valuable work entitled Four Years with General Lee, by Colonel Walter Taylor, his distin-guished adjutant general.
McClellan, in a dispatch to Mr. Lincoln on the 4th, two days afterward, says: We now occupy Evelington Heights, about two miles from the James, a plain extending from there to the river.
Our front is about three miles long; these heights command our whole position, and must be maintained.
The total losses to the Army of the Potomac in these seven days of conflict are put down at fifteen thousand eight hundred and forty-nine, and the list of casualties in the Army of Northern Virginia in the fights before Richmond, commencing June 22d and
derate cavalry operations, from smallness of numbers, were much circumscribed.
Stuart only had five regiments at Chancellorsville, three of them being on Lee's left and two on his right, while two more had been left to contend as best they could with Stoneman's ten thousand troopers.
Stoneman accomplished nothing.
Hooker's official report says that no officer ever made a greater mistake in construing his orders, and no one ever accomplished less in so doing.
He returned to the army on the 4th, the day Sedgwick was disposed of. General Lee's official report said that the conduct of the troops can not be too highly praised.
Attacking largely superior numbers in strongly intrenched positions, their heroic courage overcame every obstacle of Nature and of art, and achieved a triumph most honorable to our arms.
Hooker's General Order No. 49, of May 6th, congratulates his army on its achievements, saying that, in withdrawing from the south bank of the Rappahannock before delivering