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Chapter 19: Chancellorsville.

As the time drew near for that resumption of active hostilities, which General Jackson knew to be inevitable, his temper began to rise in its animation and resolve, to meet the crisis. He now spoke with less reserve than before, to the members of his military family, concerning the general principles which should govern the war, upon the Confederate side. Speaking of the coming campaign, he said with an intense concentration of fire and will: “We must make it an exceedingly active one. Only thus can a weaker country cope with a stronger; it must make up in activity what it lacks in strength. A defensive campaign can only be made successful by taking the aggressive at the proper time. Napoleon never waited for his adversary to become fully prepared; but struck him the first blow, by virtue of his superior activity.”

Early upon the 29th of April, he was aroused by a message, which said that an officer was below with something important to communicate immediately. As he arose he remarked: “That sounds as if something stirring were afoot.” After a few moments, he returned and informed Mrs. Jackson, that General Early, to whom he had committed the guardianship of the river bank, had sent his adjutant to report that Hooker was crossing in force. He said that great events were probably at hand, and that he must go immediately to verify the news he had received; [661] that if it were as he supposed, and the hostilities were about to be resumed on a great scale, Mr. Yerby's would be no place for a lady and infant; and she would be compelled to retire to Richmond. He therefore, requested Mrs. Jackson to make immediate preparations for her journey, so that, if his surmises proved true, she might leave at a moment's warning, in the forenoon. He promised, if it were practicable, to return in person and assist her departure, but added that, as his duties might deprive him of the power to do so, he would say good-by now. Thus, after an affectionate leave-taking, he hurried away, without breakfast, and she saw him no more until she returned to the side of his dying bed. Her heart was oppressed with gloomy forebodings for his safety, arising from her anticipation of the desperate struggle into which she well knew, it was his purpose to plunge, rather than yield ground to his gigantic adversary; his animated eagerness seemed to leave him no time for such thoughts for self.

Hurrying to his troops, he now made it his first business to communicate the movements of the enemy to the Commanderin-Chief. The Aide whom he sent, found him still in his tent; and in reply to the message, he said, “Well, I heard firing; and I was beginning to think it was time some of you lazy young fellows were coming, to tell me what it was all about. Say to General Jackson, that he knows just as well what to do with the enemy, as I do.” This answer indicated his high confidence in his great Lieutenant; and the strain of kindly pleasantry, habitual with Lee, had a happy influence in infusing into all who came near him, his own composure and serene courage in great emergencies. When General Jackson joined his troops, he found so much demanding his oversight, that he did not return to the assistance of his wife; but sent her brother, his Aide, Lieutenant Joseph Morrison, to provide her with an ambulance, and escort [662] her to Guinea's Station; whence she was to proceed by railroad to Richmond. This young officer, eager to be in the post of danger with his chief, transferred his task to his chaplain; who convoyed her to Guinea's, and then also hurried back to his duties with the army.

When General Jackson got his corps under arms, he saw that the Federalists were crossing in great force below Deep Run, and entrenching themselves at the edge of the plateau; on the same ground occupied by Franklin and Hooker at the battle of Fredericksburg. He estimated their numbers at thirty-five thousand men. But he saw at a glance, that there was, as yet, no sufficient evidence that Hooker was about to provoke a serious collision on the ground which had been so disastrous to Burnside. That ground had now been strengthened by a continous line of field-works, along the edge of the plateau near the Spottsylvania hills, and by a second partial line within the verge of the forest. He suspected that this crossing was the feint, while the real movement was made upon one or the other flank; and he therefore awaited the reports of the vigilant Stuart, whose cavalry pickets were stretched from Port Royal to the higher course of the Rappahannock. It has already been explained, that the character of the ground, rendered an assault upon the enemy near the northern edge of the plain inexpedient, because of their commanding artillery upon the Stafford heights.

The Confederate Generals were not left long in doubt. Stuart soon reported appearances which indicated a passage of the Rappahannock by Hooker west of Fredericksburg, He had now restored the Federal army to the same vast numbers which had accompanied Burnside; and discarding the three grand divisions with their commanders, which had afforded to him, when one of the three, so good a pretext for insubordination, had thrown his forces into nine corps d'armee commanded by as many generals, [663] besides the cavalry division under Stoneman. The plan of campaign which he now adopted, was a complicated one. He proposed with three corps under General Sedgwick, to cross the Rappahannock below Fredericksburg, and make a demonstration sufficiently formidable in appearance, to occupy General Lee there. Meantime, the remainder of his great army was to proceed by forced marches up the northern bank of the Rappahannock, screened from observation by the forest country, and an intervening line of pickets, to Kelly's ford. There he proposed to force a passage into Culpepper, and marching rapidly to Germanna and Ely's fords, upon the Rapid Ann, in a southeasterly direction, to cross them while the Confederates were amused at Fredericksburg, establish himself in the Wilderness of Spottsylvania and fortify on General Lee's flank. If he remained at Fredericksburg, Hooker persuaded himself that he would be able, from this new temporary base, to command his communications with Richmond. If he left Fredericksburg, to make head against this formidable threat upon his left and rear, Hooker proposed to withdraw the larger part of his troops employed in the feint there, to bring them over by the United States' ford, which his movement into the Wilderness would uncover to him, and receive the attack of General Lee in his entrenched position. While his infantry was thus employed, nearly all his cavalry, under Stoneman, was to cross the Rapid Ann above the army, upon a grand raid, to penetrate the country across the Central Railroad, destroy it, pass down toward the junction of the Central and Fredericksburg roads, cut the latter, and thus break up all communication between the Confederates and their Capital. The Federal Commander had persuaded himself that General Lee was laid aside by sickness, that all his force, except Jackson's corps, was either absent with Longstreet, or disaffected and scattered, and that with his vast numbers he would [664] easily surround and crush the remainder, leaving no organized foe between him and Richmond. In his usual boastful spirit, he exalted the invincibility of his host declaring it to be “the finest army upon the planet.”

To meet this tremendous force, General Lee had the corps of General Jackson, and two divisions of the corps of General Longstreet, those of Anderson and McLaws. The other three, with Longstreet, under Hood, Pickett, Ransom, were absent in Southeastern Virginia, making a demonstration against Suffolk, whither they had been directed by,the scarcity of forage and food in Spottsylvania. The corps of General Jackson now consisted of four divisions,--those of A. P. Hill; D. H. Hill, commanded by Brigadier General Rhodes; Trimble, commanded by Brigadier General Colston; and Early.--General D. H. Hill had been detached to another and more important command, and Major-General Trimble was detained by infirmity at his home. The four divisions now contained about twenty-eight thousand muskets, and an aggregate of more than thirty thousand men and officers. They were supported by twenty-eight field batteries, containing one hundred and fifteen guns; but of these many were deficient in horses to move them with promptitude. The scarcity of forage had reduced the larger part of the artillery horses, and had destroyed not a few. Besides these batteries, the army was still accompanied by a reserved corps of artillery, commanded by Brigadier General Pendleton. Stuart's division of cavalry was also acting upon the left. So that General Lee had, in all, an aggregate of about forty-five thousand men, with which to meet one hundred and twenty-five thousand.

The enemy no sooner appeared upon the Rapid Ann, than General Anderson's division was marched westward to meet them, supported by a part of McLaws's. On Thursday, the remainder of McLaws's brigades, except one left upon Marye's Hill, [665] was sent to the support of Anderson. Meantime, General Jackson lay in the lines occupied by the Confederate army on the 13th of December, watching the proceedings of Sedgwick before him, who was ostentatiously parading his force, and seeking to magnify the impression of.his numbers. The attitude of Hooker was now most threatening to the Confederates; but he had committed the capital error of dividing his army, and operating with the parts upon two lines, which, although convergent, were exterior lines to General Lee. The latter had his option to attack the one or the other part with the weight of his main force, and thus to deal with the two fragments in detail. No doubt could be entertained by the true strategist as to this leading principle. When some person about the Staff, after the development of Hooker's plan, expressed his anxiety and his fear lest the army should be compelled to retreat before him, General Jackson replied sharply, “Who said that? No, sir, we shall not fall back; we shall attack them.” But the question to be decided was, which part should be attacked first? In favor of assailing Sedgwick were some plausible reasons. Time was an important element in the movements of the inferior army, possessing the interior lines; and if it were not improved, the loss of its own line of communications, or the approximation of the two separated parts of its enemy would speedily transfer the advantage of concentration to him again. But Jackson was already in front of Sedgwick, and no march was necessary to bring him into collision with him; whereas a day must be consumed in going to the Wilderness, to seek Hooker. Sedgwick's was also the smaller force; but still, its overthrow would probably decide the failure of Hooker's grand combination. These considerations were counterbalanced by the facts, that Sedgwick had now entrenched himself, and that the assault upon him must be made under the fire of the Stafford batteries. After animated discussion between [666] Generals Lee and Jackson, the former decided to meet Sedgwick's feint by a feint; to leave Early's division, of about seven thousand men, in the entrenchments with Barksdale's brigade, upon Marye's Hill, to confront his thirty-five thousand, while the whole remainder of the army stole away to reinforce Generals Anderson and McLaws, and to take the aggressive against Hooker. In this plan General Jackson cheerfully acquiesced.

Thursday, the 30th of April, had now arrived, and he prepared to break up his quarters. The opening of the campaign had metamorphosed the whole man. Those who had seen him in his winter-quarters, toiling with a patient smile over his heaps of official papers, who had received his gentle and almost feminine kindnesses there, who had only beheld him among his chaplains, or at public worship, the deferential and tender Christian, had been tempted to wonder whether this were indeed the thunderbolt of war, he was described by fame; and whether so meek a spirit as his would be capable of directing its terrors. But when they met him on this morning, all such doubts fled before his first glance. His step was quick and firm, his whole stature unconsciously erected and elate with genius and majesty, while all comprehending thought, decision, and unconquerable will, burned in his eye. His mind seemed, with equal rapidity and clearness, to remember everything, and to judge everything. In a firm and decisive tone, he issued his rapid orders to every branch of his service, overlooking nothing which could possibly affect the efficiency of his corps. The tents which for a month and a half had formed his quarters, were now about to be struck and removed, when he rode up to them for the last time; a mob of officers, aids, soldiers, and teamsters, was bustling around, in all the confusion of a hurried removal, when he dismounted and threw the rein of his horse to his servant Jim, and retired within his tent. A moment after, he raised his hand to the people [667] around, With a warning gesture, and whispered: “Hush. . .. the General is praying” An instant silence fell on every person. After a full quarter of an hour he raised the curtain and came out, with an elevated and serene countenance, and mounting his horse, after some final directions, rode away. That tent had doubtless been pitched with prayer; and now the last act of its occupant was prayer. With this final preparation he turned to meet the enemies of his country.

General Lee had now proceeded in person to examine the formidable demonstration of Hooker above, and had written back to General Jackson, informing him of the situation of affairs, and instructing him to move to his support. The enemy, in great force, had crossed the Rapid Ann at Germanna and Ely's fords, driving back the guards placed there by General Stuart, had advanced into the country a number of miles, uncovering for themselves the United States ford, which crosses the Rappahannock a mile below the junction of the two rivers, and had established themselves at the villa of Chancellorsville, fifteen miles west of Fredericksburg. The reader's attention must now be claimed for a description of the place. Two main roads lead from Fredericksburg, westward to Orange; the one called the old turnpike, because first made, the other, called the plankroad; because once paved with wooden boards. The plankroad is south of the old turnpike, and separated from it during the most of its course, by a space of a few miles. But the traveller who proceeds along it from Fredericksburg, westward, at the distance of fifteen miles from the town, finds the two thoroughfares merge themselves into one, and continue to pursue the same track for three miles; when they again diverge, even more widely than before; the plank-road, as before, bearing toward the left or south. At the spot where the two highways unite, stood the ample villa of Chancellor, in the midst of a [668] farm of a mile in extent, which, like an island amidst the waters, was surrounded on every side by forests. From the same spot, two other roads diverged, the one leading toward the northeast and Banks' ford, the other toward the northwest. This last, after proceeding two miles, divided into two, of which the right or northern branch led to the United States ford, and the left or western, to the ford of Ely, over the Rapid Ann. The surface of the country around Chancellorsville is undulating, but presents no hills of great altitude. Immediately west of that farm, begins the country known as the Wilderness of Spottsylvania; a region interspersed with a few small and inferior farms, but whose poor and gravelly soil is otherwise covered, for a few miles, with a tangled forest of oak and shrubbery. It was in this region, that the fuel had been cut, ever since the days when Governor Spottiswoode of the colony, first wrought the iron mines of the neighborhood, to supply the furnaces. Hence arose the dense coppices which covered the larger part of the surface of the country; in which every stump had sent up two or three minor stems in place of the parent trunk remoyed by the axe of the woodsman, and the undergrowth had availed itself of the temporary flood of sunlight let in upon the soil, to occupy it with an almost impenetrable thicket of dwarf oak, chinquepin, and whortleberry. But six or seven miles west of Chancellorsville, the Wilderness Run, a pellucid stream flowing northward to the Rapid Ann presents a zone of better soil, which is covered with handsome farms and country seats.

Hooker had concentrated, his forces at Chancellorsville by the 30th of April, and was now busy in protecting himself by barricades and earthworks fronting toward the east, south, and southwest; which, with an irregular circuit conformed to the gentle declivities of the surface, embraced, not only the whole farm of Chancellor, but an annular belt of the forest in which [669] it was embosomed also. By this arrangement, Hooker's whole circuit of defences was masked in the woods; and, as the thickets in front were infested with his sharp-shooters, an exact discovery of the position and nature of his works could only be made by an attack in force. The difficulties of the assault were thus vastly increased; and it was with some show of reason that the braggart general declared on Thursday that he now had a position from which nothing could dislodge him. The longer axis of the partially entrenched camp thus formed, extending from east to west, was about two miles. But other works were stretched two or three miles farther westward, fronting toward the south and southwest, and designed to cover the turnpike and the two farms of Melzi Chancellor and Talley, which were also occupied with Federal camps, from an attack coming from the south.

Having thus established himself, Hooker began on Thursday to push forward his skirmishing parties to the east, in order to feel his way toward General Lee's supposed rear, and to reach his hand toward Sedgwick. Proceeding three miles toward Fredericksburg, he was estopped by the division of General Anderson, at Tabernacle Church, which was drawn up on a strong north and south line, and defended on its flanks by artillery and cavalry! To his assistance McLaws also came speedily; and it was expected that General Stuart, who had retired out of Culpepper before the Federalists, and had placed himself upon their south front, would connect himself with General Anderson's left before dawn on Friday morning. Meantime Hooker was endeavoring to watch every Confederate movement, by means of sundry balloons raised to the sky from the north side of the Rappahannock; from which his scouts maintained a constant intercourse with the earth and with his headquarters by telegraph [670] wires. Such was the position of affairs at nightfall on the last day of April.

General Jackson now debated with himself the question of moving to the support of General Anderson at once by a night march, or of awaiting the dawn of Friday, the 1st of May. He was reluctant to adopt the former determination, because the troops would be unfitted for the arduous work before them by occupying in the toil of a march the hours which should be devoted to sleep. But, on the other hand, he was powerfully persuaded to it by the facts that Anderson and McLaws might be assailed with overwhelming numbers at the dawn of the next morning, and that a night march would conceal his withdrawal much more effectually from Sedgwick. Having obtained trusty guides, he therefore determined to draw his whole corps, except the division of Early, out of the trenches silently, beginning at midnight, to retire a few miles southward, as though proceeding toward Spottsylvania Court House, and then make his way by the country roads of the interior across to the Orange plankroad, and thus proceed westward. Orders were accordingly issued to all the staff departments and commanders of divisions, and the movement was begun at the appointed time by the light of a brilliant moon. The column was led by the division of General D. H. Hill, under Brigadier-General Rhodes. Before the mists of the morning had cleared away, the whole corps was far on its way, and securely out of view amidst the woods of the interior, beyond the most piercing espionage of Hooker's balloonists. General Jackson reached the position of Anderson about eleven o'clock A. M., and found him still confronting the detachments of Hooker, which were of unknown strength. The Confederate line now reached from the plank road northward to the old turnpike, and thence toward the Rappahannock through a region chiefly covered with dense woods and thickets. [671]

General Jackson, as the superior officer under the Commander-in-Chief, was now entrusted with the direction of the field, and was ordered to take the aggressive and press back the Federal out-posts, until Hooker's real strength and position were disclosed. This he proceeded to do, with all his accustomed vigor. Some of the best regiments of Anderson's and his own divisions were deployed as skirmishers, and steadily advanced through the woods, hunting put the concealed enemy, and driving them in with continual slaughter. The rattle of the rifles was heard creeping along, upon a front of several miles' extent, like the crackling of some vast forest conflagration, while a few light field-pieces, advanced along the several roads, abreast of the riflemen, cleared the way as often as the enemy attempted to gather a force in any open space. General Jackson himself rode with the line of skirmishers, and often before them, urging them on whenever they paused, and assuring them of his powerful support. There are few services which put the nerve of the brave soldier to a more trying test, than such an advance upon a concealed enemy in a tangled wood. He knows not what danger is near him in front, or at what moment the stealthy shot may burst upon him from an unseen foe. He cannot practise the same concealment with the enemy who lies in ambush for him, because he is continually in motion. But the Confederate line, urged on by General Jackson and his Staff, kept up a slow but steady advance throughout the afternoon, until the Federal pickets were, at nightfall, driven in upon their main line. Hooker, on his part, endeavored to retard their advance by detachments of riflemen, and by batteries, which, masked behind the dense woods, dropped their shells over in every direction toward the roads which were occupied by the Confederates. But all this proved rather an annoyance than a resistance, and the successes of the day were won with slight loss. [672]

When Friday night arrived, Generals Lee and Jackson met, at a spot where the road to the Catharine Iron Furnace turned southwestward from the plank-road, which was barely a mile in front of Hooker's works. Here, upon the brow of a gentle hill, grew a cluster of pine-trees, while the gound was carpeted with the clean, dry sedge and fallen leaves. They selected this spot, with their respective Staffs, to bivouac, while the army lay upon their weapons, a few yards before them, and prepared to sleep upon the ground, like their men. General Stuart had now joined them, and reported the results of his reconnoissances upon the south and west of Hooker's position. He had ascertained that the Federal commander had left a whole corps, under General Reynolds, at Ely's Ford, to guard his communications there, and that he had massed ninety thousand men around Chancellorsville, under his own eye, fortifying them upon the east, south and, southwest, as has been described. But upon the west and northwest his encampments were open, and their movements were watched by Stuart's pickets, who were secreted in the wilderness there. He had also ascertained, that almost all their cavalry had broken through the line of the Rapid Ann in one body, and had invaded the south, followed and watched by the brigade of W. H. Lee, evidently bent upon a grand raid against the Confederate communications.

Generals Lee and Jackson now withdrew, and held an anxious consultation. That Hooker must be attacked, and that speedily, was clear to the judgments of both. It was not to be hoped that the absence of Jackson's corps from the front of Sedgwick could remain very long unknown to that General; or that Early's seven thousand could permanently restrain his corps, with such additions as it might receive from Hooker. To hold the stationary defensive in front of Chancellorsville would, therefore, be equivalent to the loss of the whole line of the Rappahannock, [673] with a hazardous retreat along a new and crooked line of operations; for the success of Sedgwick would deprive them of the direct one, and place him in alarming proximity to any other which they might adopt. Hooker, then, must be at once fought and beaten, or the initial act of the campaign would close in disaster.

General Lee had promptly concluded, that while, on the one hand, immediate attack was proper, some more favorable place for assault must be sought, by moving farther toward Hooker's right. The attempt to rout ninety thousand well armed troops, entrenched at their leisure, by a front attack, with thirty-five thousand, would be too prodigal of patriot blood, and would offer too great a risk of repulse. He had accordingly already commanded his troops to commence a movement toward their left, and communicated his views to General Jackson, who warmly concurred in their wisdom. A report was about this time received from General FitzHugh Lee, of Stuart's command, describing the position of the Federal army, and the roads which he held with his cavalry leading to its rear. General Jackson now proposed to throw his command entirely into Hooker's rear, availing himself of the absence of the Federal cavalry, and the presence of the Confederate horse, and to assail him from the West, in concert with Anderson and McLaws.

Stuart was there with his active horsemen to cover this movement; and he believed that it could be made with comparatively little risk, and, when accomplished, would enable him to crush the surprised enemy. He well knew that he was apparently proposing a “grand detachment” ; a measure pronounced by military science so reprehensible, in the presence of an active adversary. It might seem that, in venturing one instance of this hazardous measure,--the detaching of Early to remain at [674] Fredericksburg,--they had tempted fortune sufficiently far, without again repeating it by a further division of forces before Hooker. But the maxims of the military art should be our servants, and not our masters; and the part of good sense is to modify their application to actual instances, according to circumstances. In this case, the only choice was between his proposed expedient, which he well knew was unusual and hazardous, and another measure still more hazardous. The unwieldy and sluggish strategy of the huge Federal armies was to be considered; and, along with that, the unsuspecting, boastful, and overweening temper of their chief, who was precisely the man to be thus dealt with. He was known to be a man who would make a stubborn fight against a plain, front attack; but whose lack of vigilance would make surprise practicable, and whose small resources of mind in the moment of confusion would probably offer him little aid in extricating himself from that surprise. It must be remembered also, that if General Jackson's proposal were adopted, it would be the body moving with him which would really be the main army, and the divisions of Anderson and McLaws which would be the detachment. But if the issue of affairs at Chancellorsville were adverse, whatever were the plan of assault adopted, the retreat which must follow must be by a new line at any rate; so that the separation of his corps from its original line of operations was not, in this case, a valid objection. It would still have its chance of retreat upon the Central Railroad in Louisa county; and in whatever shape a repulse came at Chancellorsville, if it should perchance come, the army there would have no other resort. But if the assault were a victory, then the question of lines of retreat lost all its importance. Last, the two parts of the army would be in supporting distance during the whole movement.

After profound reflection, General Lee gave the sanction of [675] his judgment to this plan, and committed its execution to General Jackson. He proposed to remain with Anderson and McLaws, and superintend their efforts to “contain” the vast army of Hooker until the hour for the critical attack should arrive. They then lay down upon the ground to seek a few hours of repose, which they so much needed. General Jackson, with his usual self-forgetfulness, had left his quarters, his mind absorbed in the care of the army, without any of those provisions of overcoat or blanket, which the professional soldier is usually so careful to attach to his saddle. He now lay down at the foot of a pine-tree, without covering. One of his adjutants, Colonel Alex. S. Pendleton, urged upon him his overcoat; but he, with persistent politeness, declined it. He then detached the large cape, and spread it over the General, retaining the body of the garment for himself. The General remained quiet until Pendleton fell asleep, when he arose and spread the cape upon him, and resumed his place without covering. In the morning he awoke chilled, and found that he had contracted a cold, but made no remark about it.

When his chaplain awoke in the morning, before the dawn of day, he perceived a little fire kindled under the trees, and General Jackson sitting by it upon a box, such as was used to contain biscuit for the soldiers. The General knew that his former pastoral labors had led him to this region, and desired to learn something from him about its by-roads. He therefore requested him to sit beside him on the box; and when the other declined to incommode him by doing so, made room for him and repeated: “Come, sit down: I wish to talk with you.” As he took his seat, he perceived that Jackson was shuddering with cold, and was embracing the little blaze with expressions of great enjoyment. He then proceeded to state that the enemy were in great force at Chancellorsville, in a fortified position, [676] and that to dislodge them by a front attack, would cost a fearful loss of life. He wished to know whether he was acquainted with any way, by which their flank might be turned, either on the right or the left. He was informed in reply, that after proceeding southward along the furnace road for a space, a blind road would present itself, leading westward and nearly parallel to the Orange plank-road, which, in its turn, would conduct into a plainer route, that fell into the great road four miles above Chancellorsville. The General, quickly drawing from his pocket an outline map, prepared for him by one of his engineers, and a pencil, said: “Take this map, and mark it down for me.” When he saw it, he said: “That is too near: it goes within the line of the enemy's pickets. I wish to get around well to his rear, without being observed: Do you know no other road?” He replied that he had no perfect knowledge of any other, but presumed that the road which he had described as entering the Orange plank-road, four miles above Chancellorsville, must intersect the furnace road somewhere in the interior, because their directions were convergent. “Then,” said Jackson: “Where can you find this out certainly?” He was told that everything could doubtless be learned at the house of the proprietor of the furnace, a mile and a half distant, whose son, a patriotic and gallant man, would be an excellent guide. He then said: “Go with Mr. Hotchkiss (his topographical engineer) to the furnace, ascertain whether those roads meet, at what distance, and whether they are practicable for artillery — send Mr. Hotchkiss back with the information, and do you procure me a guide.”

The desired information was speedily obtained; and it was discovered that the two roads crossed each other at the distance of a few miles; so that, by a circuit of fifteen miles, a point would be reached near Wilderness Run, several miles above the [677] farthest outposts of Hooker. The intersecting road, by which the Orange plank-road was to be regained, was known as the Brock road. Leading from Culpepper southeastward, it crosses the old turnpike near the Wilderness tavern, and the plankroad two or three miles south of it; so that by this route General Jackson's purposes were perfectly. met. As soon as he received the necessary assurance of this, he gave orders for his corps to begin their march, and a little after sunrise appeared at the furnace at the head of the column. He declined the urgent request of the family there to partake of the breakfast which they were preparing for him, and without any refreshment busied himself in pushing on his troops. Forgetful of no prudent precaution, he directed that a regiment of General McLaws should be sent to guard the entrance of the blind road near the Furnace, lest the Federalists should attack the side of his passing column by that outlet. He then caused the regiments of Stuart, which were present, to patrol the country between his line of march and their outposts, that they might learn nothing of his journey.

But, before the whole column had passed the Furnace, some of Hooker's scouts, mounted in the tops of the highest trees southeast of Chancellor's house, perceived it, and reported its movement to him. That sagacious commander was now perfectly certain that the disheartened “Rebels” were in full retreat upon Richmond. Their early march to the southward could bear, in his judgment, no other explanation. He therefore prepared to harass the rear of their flight; and to this end posted some artillery upon the declivities facing the Furnace Road, which cannonaded the ammunition train of General Jackson; and sent down a few regiments, after a time, to ascertain the direction of his retreat. These came into collision with the regiment of McLaws, captured a part of them, and were, in turn [678] driven off by a demonstration of other Confederate troops from the plank-road. Hooker now found the same firm resistance upon his eastern front which he had met the day before, and, after some feeble skirmishing of artillery and riflemen, became quiescent, awaiting further developments. It was here that he committed his fatal blunder,--a blunder inexcusable even when judged, in the absence of the light cast upon his situation by subsequent events, by his own professed conclusions. If he believed that the Confederate army was indeed retreating into the interior of Spottsylvania, and thence toward Richmond, it is strange that the bold front still maintained against him on the east by General Lee did not suggest an anxious doubt. Was not this a new manner for the rear-guard of a baffled and fleeing army to behave? Did it not point, too strongly for a moment's hesitation, to the propriety of his at once attacking them in such force as to learn what they truly meant? And if he found them obstinate and immovable upon his east front, would not that result dictate still more clearly that he should move upon their south or left flank, if necessary, with his whole force, until they were forced back, and the mystery of Jackson's disappearance on that side, and of the unaccountable gap which he was placing between himself and his friends, was cleared up? The history of war contains no stronger instance of the danger of the policy of “the stationary defensive,” when adhered to in disregard of new circumstances. It was very properly a part of Hooker's programme, after gaining his strong position at Chancellorsville, to await the attack of the Confederates. But the prudence of this plan depended wholly upon their making that attack in that mode in which he had prepared himself to receive it. Just as soon as it became doubtful whether they purposed to do this, the defensive policy became of doubtful propriety; and sound judgment dictated that Hooker should modify his purposes also, and [679] should immediately assume the aggressive, sufficiently, at least, to determine their true project. By sitting still now, he forfeited all the strength of his defensive position. The best justification of General Jackson's strategy is found in the fact that he so correctly estimated the temper of his adversary, and anticipated the blunder which he would commit.

The narrative returns now to his march. The troops, comprehending instantly that he was engaged in one of his famous assaults upon his enemy's flanks, responded to his eager spirit zealously, and pressed forward along the narrow country road at a rapid gait. Often the men were compelled to advance at a double-quick, in order to close up the column. After proceeding southwest, a few miles beyond the Catharine furnace, they came to the intersection of the Brock road, and turning to the right at a sharp angle, assumed a northwestern direction. When General Jackson reached the plank-road again, he quietly advanced the Stonewall Brigade down it, under General Paxton, with instructions to form across it at the junction of the road which led thence toward Germanna ford, so as to prevent egress at that place. He then continued his march, with the remainder of the corps, until he found himself in the old turnpike near Wilderness Run. He had marched fifteen miles, and three o'clock in the afternoon had arrived. He was six miles west of Chancellorsville, and upon precisely the opposite side of the enemy to that occupied by General Lee. He now addressed to him the following, which is the last of his official notes:

near 3 P. M., May 2nd, 1863.
The enemy has made a stand at Chancellor's, which is about two miles from Chancellorsville. I hope, so soon as practicable, to attack. [680]

I trust that an ever kind Providence will bless us with success.

Respectfully, T. J. Jackson, Lieutenant-General. General Robert E. Lee.
P. S. The leading division is up, and the next two appear to be well closed.

T. J. J.

The place here mentioned as Chancellor's, two miles west of Chancellorsville, was the farm of Melzi Chancellor, which was embraced within the western wing of Hooker's defences, and occupied by the corps of Sigel, now commanded by General Howard. General Jackson found both the plank-road, and the old turnpike guarded on the west by the vigilant pickets of Stuart. Advancing to these outposts, he gained a glimpse of the position of the enemy, which convinced him that he had obtained the desired vantage ground from which to attack them. He therefore directed his column to advance across the old turnpike, and then to wheel to the eastward, so as to present a line toward the foe. The open fields near the old Wilderness Tavern afforded him space in which to complete his array. He now formed his army in three parallel lines: the division of Rhodes in front, that of Colston next, and that of A. P. Hill in the rear. He detailed one or two picked batteries to advance along the turnpike, which marked the centre of his lines; and such was the extent of the thickets into which he was about to plunge, that no position could be gained for his other artillery. Two hours were consumed by the issuing of orders, and the galloping of aides and orderlies, when, between five and six o'clock, everything was ready for the advance. The three lines swept grandly forward, at the word, in battle array, and speedily buried themselves in the tangled forests. So dense were the thickets, that the [681] soldiers had their clothing almost torn from their bodies, and could only advance by creeping through the thickest spots; but still the lines swept forward, in tolerable order, and with high enthusiasm. General A. P. Hill, finding this toilsome march unnecessary to support Rhodes, whose division had Colston just in their rear, was allowed to withdraw his men from line into column again, and thus advanced along the turnpike, leaving a part of its breadth open for the passage of artillery and ambulances, but ready to reinforce any part of the line which might waver.

As the Confederates approached the little farms of Talley and Melzi Chancellor, after a march of two miles through the woods, they came upon the right wing of Hooker's army, in all the security of unsuspicious indolence. Their little earthworks, which fronted the south, were taken in reverse, and the men were scattered about the fields and woods, preparing for their evening meal. With a wild hurra, the line of Rhodes burst upon them from the woods, and the first volley decided their utter rout. The second line, commanded by Colston, unable to restrain their impetuosity, rushed forward at the shout, pressed upon the first, filling up their gaps, and firing over their heads, so that thenceforward the two were almost merged into one, and advanced together, a dense and impetuous mass. For three miles the Federalists were now swept back by a resistless charge. Even the works which confronted the west afforded them no protection; no sooner were they manned by the enemy, than the Confederates dashed upon them with the bayonet, and the defenders were either captured or again put to flight. The battle was but a continued onward march, with no other pause than that required for the rectification of the line, disordered by the density of the woods. The eleven thousand German mercenaries of Howard fled almost without resistance, carrying away with them the troops sent to their support; they did not pause [682] in Hooker's entrenched camp, but dashing through his whole army in frantic terror, without muskets, without hats, they rushed toward the fords of the Rappahannock. Fugitives, armed men, ambulances, artillery, were mixed together in vast masses, all struggling madly to flee as rapidly as possible from the deadly volleys which were scourging their rear, and those terrible war-cries of the vengeful patriots. While these confused herds offered an unfailing mark for the bullets of the Confederates, they were able to make no effective reply. Hence the slaughter of the Federalists was heavy, and the loss of the assailants trifling. The ground moreover was left strewed with incalculable amounts of spoils. The lavish equipments with which the Federal Government fitted out its armies, now fell a prey, in a moment, to the victors. Blankets, clothing, arms, ammunition, cooking utensils, food, almost covered the surface of the highway, and were thickly scattered though the fields and coppices for three miles.

In this fashion General Jackson urged forward the attack until after nightfall. After the dispositions for the first attack were made, the only order given by him had been his favorite battle-cry: “Press forward.” This was his message to every General, and his answer to every inquiry. As he uttered it, he leaned forward upon his horse, and waved his hand as though endeavoring, by its single strength, to urge forward his whole line. Never before had his pre-occupation of mind, and his insensibility to danger been so great. At every cheer from the front, which announced some new success, the smile of triumph flashed over his face, followed and banished immediately by the reverential gratitude, with which he raised his face and his right hand to the heavens in prayer and thanksgiving. It was evident that he regarded this as his greatest victory, and never before was he seen so frequently engaged in worship upon [683] the field. Eight o'clock arrived, and the moon was shedding a doubtful light through the openings of the forest, but the darkness was sufficient to arrest the pursuit of the fugitives. The line of Rhodes was now within a mile of Chancellorsville, but still enveloped within the bushy woods which surrounded the entrenchments there; and they had no means of knowing what was the character of the ground, or of the defences before them. Their array had been much disordered by their rapid advance; and now, by a species of common impulse, the whole line, finding no visible enemy, and no firing in their front, paused to rest. The men, leaving their places in the ranks, were clustering in groups, to discuss the triumphs of the evening, and many were reclining at the roots of the trees. They had now marched more than twenty miles since the morning, had fought over three miles of difficult ground, and their weariness demanded repose. General Jackson perceiving this, determined to relieve his front line, by replacing them with the fresh troops of A. P. Hill, who had closely followed up his advance, keeping the head of his columns a little behind the line of battle, upon both margins of the turnpike. He therefore directed that General to file a part of his brigade to the right, and a part to the left of the highway, to replace those of Rhodes and Colston, which were to be withdrawn to the second line, as fast as the others were ready to take their places. But his vigilance was dissatisfied with the disorder to which the men in front had yielded; he knew that the present quiet was but a lull in the storm of war; and that the completion of his own movement would be so ruinous to Hooker, it was impossible that General could fail to make another attempt to arrest it. He therefore expected another collision, with fresh troops, and knew not when it might begin.

It was just at this moment that the gallant Colonel Cobb, of [684] the 44th Virginia regiment, in Colston's division, came to report to him, that advancing through the woods on the right of the turnpike, a little space beyond the line where the Confederates had paused in their career, he had captured a number of prisoners, and had also ascertained the existence of a strong barricade of timber, fronted by an abattis which, beginning at the right margin of the road, seemed to run down a gentle, sinuous vale of the forest, an indefinite distance, toward the south and east, and was now deserted by the Federalists. (This defence was, in fact, a part of the main circuit by which Hooker had enclosed his entrenched camp at Chancellorsville, and was now surrendered into General Jackson's hands, almost without a struggle. So complete were the results of his attack, the very citadel of Hooker was now in his grasp.) He found General Jackson near the road, busily engaged in correcting the partial disorder into which the men had fallen. Riding along the lines, he was saying, “Men, get into line! get into line! Whose regiment is this? Colonel, get your men instantly into line.” He was almost unattended, and had obviously sent away his Staff to aid in correcting the confusion, or to direct the advance of A. P. Hill's division to the front. Upon receiving the report of Cobb, he said to him, “Find General Rhodes, and tell him to occupy that barricade at once, with his troops.” He added, “I need your help for a time; this disorder must be corrected. As you go along the right, tell the troops, from me, to get into line, and preserve their order.” He then busily resumed his efforts for the same object, and a moment after rode along the turnpike toward Chancellorsville, endeavoring to discover the intentions of the enemy.

His anticipations were, indeed, verified at once. Hooker was just then advancing a powerful body of fresh troops, to endeavor to break the fatal cordon which General Jackson was drawing around his rear, and to escape from General Lee, who was [685] pressing his front. He was pushing a strong battery along the highway, preceded by infantry skirmishers, and in front of General Jackson's right, was sending a heavy line of infantry through the woods, to retake the all-important barricade. The latter, according to the usual perfidy of the enemy's tactics, was preceded by a flag of truce, which attempted to amuse General Rhodes with some trumpery fable, until the enemy could creep upon him unprepared. Rhodes, instantly perceiving the cheat, directed him to be taken to General Jackson with his message; and resumed the effort to man the barricade in accordance with his order. But the trick was partially successful. The men had not yet resumed their ranks, nor was the work fully occupied, before the Federal line of battle appeared upon the brow of the little hill within it, and poured a heavy volley upon the Confederates, at point blank distance. They replied, firing wildly, and made efforts to sustain the strife, but in a feeble and irrregular fashion. This combat upon the right was the signal for the resumption of the battle along the whole line; and in its opening upon the turnpike, General Jackson received a mortal wound.

He had now advanced a hundred yards beyond his line of battle, evidently supposing that, in accordance with his constant orders, a line of skirmishers had been sent to the front, immediately upon the recent cessation of the advance. He probably intended to proceed to the place where he supposed this line crossed the turnpike, to ascertain from them what they could learn concerning the enemy. He was attended only by a half dozen mounted orderlies, his signal officer, Captain Wilbourne, with one of his men, and his aide, Lieutenant Morrison, who had just returned to him. General A. P. Hill, with his staff also proceeded immediately after him, to the front of the line, accompanied by Captain Boswell of the Engineers, whom General [686] Jackson had just detached to assist him. After the General and his escort had proceeded down the road a hundred yards, they were surprised by a volley of musketry from the right, which spread toward their front, until the bullets began to whistle among them, and struck several horses. This was, in fact, the advance of the Federal line assailing the barricade, which they were attempting to regain. General Jackson was now aware of their proximity, and perceived that there was no picket or skirmisher between him and his enemies. He therefore, turned to ride hurriedly back to his own troops; and, to avoid the fire, which was, thus far, limited to the south side of the road, he turned into the woods upon the north side. It so happened that General Hill, with his escort, had been directed by the same motive almost to the same spot. As the party approached within twenty paces of the Confederate troops, these, evidently mistaking them for cavalry, stooped, and delivered a deadly fire. So sudden and stunning was this volley, and so near at hand, that every horse which was not shot down, recoiled from it in panic, and turned to rush back, bearing their riders toward the approaching enemy. Several fell dead upon the spot, among them the amiable and courageous Boswell; and more were wounded. Among the latter was General Jackson. His right hand was penetrated by a ball, his left fore arm lacerated by another, and the same limb broken a little below the shoulder by a third, which not only crushed the bone, but severed the main artery. His horse also dashed, panic-stricken, toward the enemy, carrying him beneath the boughs of a tree which inflicted severe blows, lacerated his face, and almost dragged him from the saddle. His bridle hand was now powerless, but seizing the reins with the right hand, notwithstanding its wound, he arrested his career, and brought the animal back toward his own lines. He was followed by his faithful attendant, Captain Wilbourne, and [687] his assistant, Wynn, who overtook him as he paused again in the turnpike, near the spot where he had received the fatal shots. The firing of the Confederates had now been arrested by the officers: but the wounded and frantic horses were rushing, without riders, through the woods, and the ground was strewn with the dead and dying. Here General Jackson drew up his horse, and sat for an instant gazing toward his own men, as if in astonishment at their cruel mistake, and in doubt whether he should again venture to approach them. To the anxious inquiries of Captain Wilbourne, he replied that he believed his arm was broken; and requested him to assist him from his horse, and examine whether the wounds were bleeding dangerously. But before he could dismount he sunk fainting into their arms, so completely prostrate, that they were compelled to disengage his feet from the stirrups. They now bore him aside a few yards into the woods north of the turnpike, to shield him from the expected advance of the Federalists; and while Wynn was sent for an ambulance and surgeon, Wilbourne proceeded, supporting his head upon his bosom, to strip his mangled arm, and bind up his wound. The warm blood was flowing in a stream down his wrist; his clothing impeded all access to its source, and nothing was at hand more efficient than a penknife, to remove the obstructions. But at this terrible moment, he saw General Hill, with the remnant of his staff, approaching; and called to him for assistance. He, with his volunteer aide, Major Leigh, dismounted, and taking the body of the General into his arms, succeeded in reaching the wound, and stanching the blood with a handkerchief. The swelling of the lacerated flesh had already performed this office in part. His two aides, Lieutenants Smith and Morrison, arrived at this moment, the former having been left at the rear to execute some orders, and the latter having just saved himself, at the expense of a stunning fall, [688] by leaping from his horse, as he was carrying him, in uncontrolable fright, into the enemy's ranks. Morrison, the General's brother by marriage, was agitated by grief; but Smith was full at once of tenderness, and of that clear self-possession, which is so valuable in the hour of danger. With the skilful direction of General Hill, they now effectually arrested the hemorrhage, and adjusted a sling to support the mangled arm.

It was at this moment that two Federal skirmishers approached within a few feet of the spot where he lay, with their muskets cocked. They little knew what a prize was in their grasp; and when, at the command of General Hill, two orderlies arose from the kneeling group, and demanded their surrender, they seemed amazed at their nearness to their enemies, and yielded their arms without resistance. Lieutenant Morrison, suspecting from their approach that the Federalists must be near at hand, stepped out into the road to examine; and by the light of the moon saw a field-piece pointed toward him, apparently not more than a hundred yards distant. Indeed it was so near that the orders given by the officers to the cannoneers could be distinctly heard. Returning hurriedly, he announced that the enemy were planting artillery in the road, and that the General must be immediately removed. General Hill now remounted, and hurried back to make his dispositions to meet this attack. In the combat which ensued he was himself wounded a few moments after, and compelled to leave the field. No ambulance or litter was yet at hand, although Captain Wilbourne had also been sent to seek them; and the necessity of an immediate removal suggested that they should bear the General away in their arms. To this he replied, that if they would assist him to rise, he could walk to the rear; and he was accordingly raised to his feet, and leaning upon the shoulders of Major Leigh and Lieutenant Smith, went slowly out into the highway, and toward [689] his troops. The party was now met by a litter, which some one had sent from the rear; and the General was placed upon it, and borne along by two soldiers, and Lieutenants Smith and Morrison. As they were placing him upon it, the enemy fired a volley of canister-shot up the road, which passed over their heads. But they had proceeded only a few steps before the discharge was repeated, with a more accurate aim. One of the soldiers bearing the litter was struck down, severely wounded; and had not Major Leigh, who was walking beside it, broken his fall, the General would have been precipitated to the ground. He was placed again upon the earth; and the causeway was now swept by a hurricane of projectiles of every species, before which it seemed that no living thing could survive. The bearers of the litter, and all the attendants, excepting Major Leigh and the General's two aides, left him, and fled into the woods on either hand, to escape the fatal tempest; while the sufferer lay along the road, with his feet toward the foe, exposed to all its fury. It was now that his three faithful attendants displayed a heroic fidelity, which deserves to go down with the immortal name of Jackson to future ages. Disdaining to save their lives by deserting their chief, they lay down beside him in the causeway, and sought to protect him as far as possible with their bodies. On one side was Major Leigh, and on the other Lieutenant Smith. Again and again was the earth around them torn with volleys of canister, while shells and minie balls flew hissing over them, and the stroke of the iron hail raised sparkling flashes from the flinty gravel of the roadway. General Jackson struggled violently to rise, as though to endeavor to leave the road; but Smith threw his arm over him, and with friendly force held him to the earth, saying: “Sir, you must lie still; it will cost you your life if you rise.” He speedily acquiesced, and lay quiet; but none of the four hoped to escape alive. Yet, almost by miracle, they were [690] unharmed; and, after a few moments, the Federalists, having cleared the road of all except this little party, ceased to fire along it, and directed their aim to another quarter.

They now arose, and resumed their retreat, the General leaning upon his friends, and proceeding along the gutter at the margin of the highway, in order to avoid the troops who were again hurrying to the front. Perceiving that he was recognized by some of them, they diverged still farther into the edge of the thicket. It was here that General Pender of North Carolina, who had succeeded to the command of Hill's division upon the wounding of that officer, recognized General Jackson, and, after expressing his hearty sympathy for his sufferings, added, “My men are thrown into such confusion by this fire, that I fear I shall not be able to hold my ground.” Almost fainting with anguish and loss of blood, he still replied, in a voice feeble but full of his old determination and authority, “General Pender, you must keep your men together, and hold your ground.” This was the last military order ever given by Jackson! How fit was the termination for such a career as his, and how expressive of the resolute purpose of his soul! His bleeding country could do nothing better than to adopt this as her motto in her hour of trial, inscribe it on all her banners, and make it the rallying cry of all her armies.

General Jackson now complained of faintness, and was again placed upon the litter; and, after some difficulty, men were obtained to bear him. To avoid the enemy's fire, which was again sweeping the road, they made their way through the tangled brushwood, almost tearing his clothing from him, and lacerating his face, in their hurried progress. The foot of one of the men bearing his head was here entangled in a vine, and he fell prostrate. The General was thus thrown heavily to the ground upon his wounded side, inflicting painful bruises on his body [691] and intolerable agony on his mangled arm, and renewing the flow of blood from it. As they lifted him up, he uttered one piteous groan,--the only complaint which escaped his lips during the whole scene. Lieutenant Smith raised his head upon his bosom, almost fearing to see him expiring in his arms, and asked, “General, are you much hurt?” He replied, “No, Mr. Smith; don't trouble yourself about me.” He was then replaced a second time upon the litter, and, under a continuous shower of shells and cannon-balls, borne a half mile farther to the rear, when an ambulance was found, containing his chief of artillery, Colonel Crutchfield, who was also wounded. In this he was placed, and hurried towards the field hospital near Wilderness Run. As the vehicle passed the house of Melzi Chancellor, Dr. McGuire met the party. Colonel Pendleton, the faithful adjutant of General Jackson, upon ascertaining the misfortune of his chief, had taken upon himself the task of seeking him, and bringing him to the General's aid. Indeed, one of the first requests made by the latter was to ask for this well-tried friend; and he was, therefore, summoned from the rear, where he was busily engaged organizing the relief for the numerous wounded from the battle. Upon meeting the sad cavalcade, Dr. McGuire obtained a candle, and sprung into the ambulance to examine the wound. He found the General almost pulseless, but the hemorrhage had again ceased. Some alcoholic stimulant had been anxiously sought for him, but hitherto only a few drops could be obtained. Now through the activity of the Rev. Mr. Vass, a chaplain in the Stonewall Brigade, a sufficient quantity of spirits was found, and the patient was freely stimulated. They then resumed their way to the field hospital near Wilderness Run, Dr. McGuire supporting the General as he sat beside him in the carriage. To his anxious inquiries he replied that he was now somewhat revived, but that several times he had felt as though he were about to [692] die. This he said in a tone of perfect calmness. It was, doubtless, the literal truth, and during the removal he was indeed vibrating upon the very turn between life and death. The artery of his left arm was severed; and, in consequence of the inexperience and distress of his affectionate assistants, and yet more of the horrible confusion of the battle, he had nearly bled to death before his wound was stanched. Arriving at the hospital, he was tenderly removed to a tent which had been erected for him; where he was laid in a camp bed, and covered with blankets, in an atmosphere carefully warmed. Here he speedily sank into a deep sleep, which showed the thorough prostration of his energies.

The melancholy scene which has now been simply and exactly described, occupied but a few minutes; for the events followed each other with stunning rapidity. The report of the discovery of the deserted barricade by Colonel Cobb, the order to General Rhodes to occupy it, the attempt to restore the order to his line of battle, the advance of the General and his escort down the road, his collision with the advancing enemy, his hurried retreat, and the fatal fire of his own men, all followed each other almost as rapidly as they are here recited. While he lay upon the ground, assisted at first only by Captain Wilbourne and his man, and afterwards by General A. P. Hill and the officers of the two escorts, the battle was again joined between Hooker and the Confederates; and it was just as the difficult removal of the General was made, that it raged through its short but furious course. General Hill had scarcely flown to assume the command of his line, in order to resist the onset, and protect General Jackson from capture, when he was himself struck down with a violent contusion, and compelled to leave the field, surrendering the direction of affairs to Brigadier-Generals Rhodes and Pender. Colonel Crutchfield, chief-of-artillery, and his [693] assistant, Major Rogers, attempting to make an effective reply to the cannonade which swept the great road, were both severely wounded. In the darkness and confusion, the Federalists regained their barricade, and pushed back the right of the Confederates a short distance; but here their successes ended; and the brigades of Hill stubbornly held their ground in the thickets near the turnpike. The fire now gradually died away into a fitful skirmish, which was continued at intervals all night, without result on either side.

While General Jackson lay bleeding upon the ground, he displayed several traits very characteristic of his nature. Amidst all his sufferings, he was absolutely uncomplaining; save when his agonizing fall wrung a groan from his breast. It was only in answer to the questions of his friends, that he said, “I believe my arm is broken,” and, “It gives me severe pain;” but this was uttered in a tone perfectly calm and self-possessed. When he was asked whether he was hurt elsewhere, he replied: “Yes, in the right hand.” (He seemed to be unconscious that the other fore-arm was shattered by a third ball: nor did the surgeons themselves advert to it, until they examined it in preparing for the amputation.) When he was asked whether his right hand should not also be bound up, he replied: “No, never mind; it is a trifle.” Yet two of the bones were broken, and the palm was almost perforated by the bullet To the many exclamations touching the source of his misfortune, he answered decisively, but without a shade of passion: “All my wounds were undoubtedly from my own men;” and added that they were exactly simultaneous. When he was informed, in answer to his first demand for the assistance of Dr. McGuire, that that officer must be now engaged in his onerous duties far to the rear, and could not be immediately brought to him, he said to Captain Wilbourne, “Then I wish you to get me a skilful [694] surgeon.” On the arrival of General Hill, the anxious inquiry was made of him, where a surgeon could be most quickly found. He stated that Dr. Barr, an assistant surgeon in one of the regiments of Pender, which had just come to the front, was near at hand; and this gentleman being called, promptly answered. General Jackson now repeated in a whisper, to General Hill, the question: “Is he a skilful surgeon?” He answered in substance, that he stood high in his brigade; and that at most, he did not propose to have him do anything until Dr. McGuire arrived, save the necessary precautionary acts. To this General Jackson replied: “Very good;” and Dr. Barr speedily procured a tourniquet to apply above the wound: but finding the blood no longer flowing, postponed its application. When General Jackson's field-glass and haversack were removed, they were preserved by Captain Wilbourne. The latter was found to contain no refreshments: its only contents were a few official papers, and two Gospel-tracts. No sooner had friends began to gather around him, than numerous suggestions were made, concerning the importance of concealing his fall from his troops. While he was lying upon General Hill's breast, that bfficer commanded that no one should tell the men he was wounded. General Jackson opened his eyes, and looking fixedly upon his Aides Smith and Morrison, said: “Tell them simply that you have a wounded Confederate officer.” He recognized, on the one hand, the importance of concealment; but on the other hand, he was anxious that the truth should not be violated in any degree, upon his account. With these exceptions, he lay silent and passive in the arms of his friends; his soul doubtless occupied with silent prayer. As he was led past the column of Pender, the unusual attention paid him excited the lively curiosity of the men. Many asked: “Whom have you there?” and some made vigorous exertions to gain a view of his face. Notwithstanding [695] the efforts of Captain Wilbourne to shield him from their view, one or two recognized him; and exclaimed, their faces blanched with horror and grief: “Great God! It is General Jackson.” Thus the news of the catastrophe rapidly spread along the lines; but the men believed that his wounds were slight: and their sorrow only made them more determined.

About midnight, Dr. McGuire summoned as assistants, Drs. Coleman, Black and Walls, and watched the pulse of the General for such evidences of the re-action of his exhausted powers, as would permit a more thorough dealing with his wound. Perceiving that the animal heat had returned, and the pulsations had resumed their volume, they aroused him; and on examining the whole extent of his injuries, were convinced beyond all doubt, that his left arm should be immediately removed. Dr. McGuire now explained to him that it seemed necessary to amputate his arm; and inquired whether he was willing that it should be done immediately. He replied, without tremor: “Dr. MGuire; do for me what you think best; I am resigned to whatever is necessary.” Preparations were then made for the work. Chloroform was administered by Dr. Coleman; Dr. McGuire, with a steady and deliberate hand, severed the mangled limb from the shoulder; Dr. Walls secured the arteries, and Dr. Black watched the pulse; while Lieutenant Smith stood by, holding the lights. The General seemed insensible to pain, although he spoke once or twice, as though conscious, saying with a placid and dreamy voice: “Dr. McGuire; I am lying very comfortably.” The ball was also extracted from his right hand, and the wound was dressed. The surgeons then directed Smith to watch beside him the remainder of the night; and after an interval of half an hour, to arouse him, in order that he might drink a cup of coffee. During this interval, he lay perfectly quiet, as though sleeping: but when he was called, awoke promptly and in full possession [696] of his faculties. He received the coffee, drank it with appetite, and remarked that it was very good and refreshing. This was, indeed, the first nourishment which he had taken since Friday evening. He now looked at the stump of his arm; and comprehending its loss fully, asked Mr. Smith: “Were you here?” (meaning when the operation was performed.) He then, after a moment's silence, inquired whether he had said anything when under the power of the chloroform; and continued, after being satisfied on this point, in substance thus: “I have always thought it wrong to administer chloroform, in cases where there is a probability of immediate death. But it was, I think, the most delightful physical sensation I ever enjoyed. I had enough consciousness to know what was doing; and at one time thought I heard the most delightful music that ever greeted my ears. I believe it was the sawing of the bone. But I should dislike above all things, to enter eternity in such a conditiqn.” His meaning evidently was, that he would not wish to be ushered into that spiritual existence, from the midst of sensations so thoroughly physical and illusory. He afterwards exclaimed to other friends; “What an inestimable blessing is chloroform to the sufferer!” His condition now appeared to be every way hopeful; and Mr. Smith exhorted him to postpone conversation, and to resign himself to sleep. He acquiesced in this, and being well wrapped up, soon fell into a quiet slumber, which continued until nine o'clock in the Sabbath morning.

Leaving him to his much needed sleep, the narrative will now return to the history of the great battle which he had so gloriously begun; that the interest of the reader in it may be briefly satisfied. About dark on Saturday evening, General Jackson had directed Brigadier-General Pender, to send him a regiment for a special service. The 16th North Carolina, Colonel McElroy, was sent. Jackson commanded him to [697] accompany a squadron of cavalry detached by General Stuart, to Ely's Ford, where they would find a corps of Federal troops encamped; to approach them as nearly as possible, and at a preconcerted signal, to fire three volleys into them, with loud cheers, and then make their way back to their Brigade. Colonel McElroy reached the enemy's encampment about midnight, and carried out his instructions to the letter. He returned to the field of battle at three o'clock in the morning; and remained for a time ignorant alike of the reasons and results of this strange proceeding. The Federal officers of Reynolds' corps at last revealed it. They, stated that while resting for the night at Ely's Ford, on their way to Chancellorsville, they were so furiously attacked by the “Rebels” in the darkness, that their leader arrested his march, and commenced fortifying his position; and in this work the Sabbath was consumed. Had this large corps arrived at the main scene of battle that morning, the odds already so fearful against the Confederates, might have become overpowering. But by this adroit manoeuvre they were detained where they were wholly useless. Such was the last of the strokes, by which the ubiquitous Jackson was accustomed to astonish and baffle his foes.

Upon the retirement of General Hill from the field, a hurried consultation was held between Colonel Pendleton, the acting adjutant of the corps, and the remaining Generals, touching the command of the troops. The night was passing away, and they well knew that the morning must bring a fierce renewal of the struggle; or all that had been won would be lost. Brigadier General Rhodes, commanding the former division of D. H. Hill, was found to be the senior officer upon the field; and his modesty, with the lack of acquaintanceship between him and the army, made him concur in the suggestion, that Major-General Stuart should be sent for, and requested to assume the [698] direction of affairs until the pleasure of the Commander-in-Chief should be known. This measure was therefore adopted. It has been said that he was selected by General Jackson, to complete the battle after he was himself disabled. This is an error. He was too strict in his obedience to the rules and proprieties of the service, to transcend under any circumstances, his powers as the commander of a corps; and he knew that all his authority could do, was to transmit his functions to the General next in rank in his own command. If any other disposition was to be made of them, he knew that it must be done by an authority higher than his own. But when Colonel Pendleton, the next morning, reported to him the assumption of temporary command by General Stuart he cheerfully acquiesced. In reply to the request of Stuart that he would communicate, through Pendleton, his plans for the second day, he answered, that he preferred to leave everything to his own judgment. This reply was an eminent instance of his wisdom. He knew, on the one hand: that as all the reconnaissances on which he himself had acted, had been made by General Stuart, that officer was fully possessed of the enemy's attitude. But on the other hand, he was not now informed what changes in the posture of affairs might have occurred, which, if he were on the field, might modify his plans. To seem to enjoin upon General Stuart the execution of all his purposes of yesterday, might therefore impose on him mischievous trammels. He well knew, moreover, that the wisdom of the methods adopted by himself, depended in part on his ownprestige, his moral power over his men, his celerity in action, the momentum of his tremendous will; properties in which no other leader might be able to imitate him. He therefore left General Stuart to adopt his own plan of battle, believing, what was doubtless true, that an inferior conception of that commander's mind, applied by him, would be more successful than the impracticable [699] effort to unite the plan of one, with the execution of another.

But both General Stuart and General Rhodes proved them selves worthy of the command: and both of them followed their great exemplar to a soldier's grave, in the subsequent campaigns of 1864. The brilliant execution of General Jackson's orders by Rhodes at Chancellorsville, won his warm applause; and he declared that his commission as Major-General should date from the 2nd of May: when, with one division, he drove before him the whole right wing of Hooker for three hours. This purpose of General Jackson the Government fulfilled immediately after his death; and General Rhodes was promoted and placed in permanent command of the division. He continued to lead this with consummate gallantry and skill, until the disastrous battle of Winchester, in the autumn of 1864; when he fell at its head, in the execution of an attack against the enemy as splendid and as successful as that of Chancellorsville. And with his fall victory departed from the Confederate banners, to perch upon those of the oppressors.

But we are not left in doubt concerning General Jackson's own designs. Speaking afterward to his friends, he said that if he had had an hour more of daylight, or had not been wounded, he should have occupied the outlets toward Ely's and United States fords, as well as those on the west. (It has been already explained that of the four roads diverging from Chancellorsville, the one which leads north, after proceeding for a mile and a half m that direction, turns northwestward, and divides into two, the left hand leading to Ely's, and the right to United States ford. And the point of their junction, afterwards so carefully fortified by Hooker, was on Saturday night entirely open.) General Jackson proposed, therefore, to move still farther to his left, during the night, and occupy that point. He declared that if he had [700] been able to do so, the dispersion or capture of Hooker's army would have been certain. “For,” said he, “my men sometimes fail to drive the enemy from their position; but the enemy are never able to drive my men from theirs.” It has already been seen, that in the confusion of his fall, aa important vantageground, won by him almost without loss, was forfeited; and it was necessary to fight over this ground again on the morrow. General Stuart now departed from the plans of General Jackson, by extending his right rather than his left, so as to approximate the Confederate troops on the southeast of Chancellorsvillei under the immediate command of General Lee. Thus, the weight of his attack was thrown against the southwest side of Hooker's position. General Jackson would rather have thrown it against the northwest. But the true design of the latter was to assume the defensive for a few hours, on Sabbath morning, after occupying both the Orange turnpike, and the road to Ely's ford. He purposed to stand at bay there, and receive, amidst the dense thickets, the attack, which he knew this occupation of his line of retreat would force upon Hooker; while General Lee thundered upon his other side. Then, after permitting him to break his strength in these vain assaults, he would have advanced upon his disheartened masses, over ground defended by no works; and Hooker would have been crushed between the upper and the nether mill-stones. To comprehend the plausibility of this design, it must be remembered that Chancellorsville, with its few adjoining farms, was an island, completely environed by a sea of forests, through whose tangled depths infantry could scarcely march in line; and the passage of carriages was impossible. Of the four roads which centred at the Villa, General Lee held two, the old turnpike, and the plank-road, leading toward Fredericksburg. General Jackson proposed to occupy the other two. Had this been done, the strong defence of the [701] surrounding woods, in which Hooker trusted, would have been his ruin; he would have found his imaginary castle his prison The necessity which compelled him again to take the aggressive iit the leafy woods, would have thrown the advantage vastly to General Jackson; by rendering the powerful Federal artillery, in which they so much trusted, a cypher, and by requiring the Federals to come to close quarters with the terrible Confederate infantry. And this was a work always more dreaded by them, than the meeting of a “bear bereaved of her whelps.” But on the southwest side of his position, within the open farm of Chancellor, Hooker had constructed a second and interior line of works, upon the brow of a long declivity, consisting of a row of lunettes pierced for artillery, and of rifle-pits. General Stuart's line of battle, after running the barricade, once before won by General Jackson, and emerging from the belt of woods which enveloped it, found themselves confronted by these works, manned by numerous batteries; and hence the cruel loss at which the splendid victory of Sunday was won.

The Brigadiers of General Jackson's corps, after determining t9 offer the temporary command to General Stuart, sent Captain Wilbourne to General Lee, to announce what had been done, and to request that he would himself come to that side and assume the direction of affairs. That officer, accompanied by Captain Hotchkiss, reached the cluster of pines east of Chancellorsville, where he lay, before the break of day, and they announced themselves to his Chief-of-Staff. They found the General lying upon the ground, beneath a thick pine-tree; and he at once requested them to come to him and tell the news. They related the incidents of the battle, and described the glorious victory; but when they told the wounding of their General, he said, after a pause, in which he was struggling to suppress his emotion, “Ah! any victory is dearly bought which deprives us of the [702] services of Jackson, even for a short time.” When reminded that General Rhodes was now the senior officer in the corps, he said he was a gallant, efficient, and energetic officer. But he acquiesced in the selection of General Stuart to lead the troops on that day, and, after a multitude of inquiries, called his adjutant to write instructions for him. He also dictated that generous note to General Jackson, which has conferred equal honor on its author and its recipient, and which deserves to be immortalized along with the fame of the two noble men. It was in these words:--

General: I have just received your note, informing me that you were wounded. I cannot express my regret at the occurrence. Could I have directed events, I should have chosen, for the good of the country, to have been disabled in your stead.

I congratulate you upon the victory which is due to your skill and energy.

Most truly yours, (Signed) R. E. Lee, General.

One of the messengers then informed him that General Jackson, after his wounding, had only expressed this thought concerning the future management of the campaign: that “the enemy should be pressed in the morning.” General Lee replied, “Those people shall be pressed immediately” ; arose, and in a few moments was in the saddle, and busy with his dispositions for attack. Meanwhile, General Stuart, on his side, brought forward the Stonewall Brigade from the junction of the Orange and Culpepper plank-roads, and joined it to his line of battle. The remainder of the night was spent in busy preparation. When the light appeared, both wings of the Confederate army assumed the aggressive, and advanced against the Federal lines. General Lee thundered from the east and south, and General Stuart from [703] the west. The latter, especially, hurled his infantry impetuously against their enemies, and a furious and bloody struggle ensued. Twenty-one thousand men now composed the whole of Jackson's corps present upon the field; and these, assisted by the two divisions of McLaws and Anderson, now assailed eighty thousand. In three hours, seven thousand men, one-third of the whole number, were killed and wounded from the corps. But the enemy were steadily driven from every work, with frightful losses in killed, wounded, and prisoners, until they took refuge in a new line of entrenchments, covering the United States ford. Seven thousand captives, forty thousand muskets, and a quantity of spoil almost incredible fell into the hands of the conquerors. When the general onset was ordered by Stuart, the Stonewall Brigade advanced with the cry, “Charge; and remember Jackson” Even as they moved from their position, their General, Paxton, his friend and former adjutant, was struck dead where he stood! His men rushed forward, unconscious of his absence, and, without other leader than the name which formed their battle-cry, swept everything before them.

The sequel of the campaign of Chancellorsville may now be related in a few words. While this great struggle was raging there, General Sedgwick retired to the north bank of the Rappahannock, and laying down his bridges again opposite to Fredericksburg, on Sunday morning crossed into the town, and with one corps captured Marye's Hill by a surprise. His other corps were despatched, through Stafford, to the support of Hooker, while he retained about eighteen thousand men. General Early now confronted Marye's Hill on another line, while Sedgwick; leaving a detachment to hold him in check, marched westward to open his way to Hooker, at Chancellorsville. But the fate of that General had been already sealed. General Lee was now at liberty to send a part of his force to meet Sedgwick; so [704] that on Monday, he found himself confronted and arrested in his march by his troops, while General Early re-captured Marye's Hill, and cut off his retreat toward Fredericksburg. Nothing now remained for him save a retreat across the river at Banks's Ford,--a point between that town and Hooker's position,which, by the aid of his artillery upon the northern bank, he effected, though not without heavy loss. The next day, his chief also made preparation to retire; and during the night of Tuesday, withdrew the remainder of his army. Thus ended the invasion, and the short career of Hooker as a commander. His cavalry, which had met with slight resistance, had penetrated as far south as the River James, which they reached fifty miles above Richmond. Thence they spread themselves downward through the country, and some detachments had the audacity to venture within ten miles of the city. They caused temporary interruptions in the Central and Fredericksburg Railroads, and the James River Canal; and then, upon hearing of Hooker's disasters, retired precipitately, having effected no other result than a villanous plundering of the peaceful inhabitants.

The short campaign of Chancellorsville was the most brilliant of all which General Lee had hitherto conducted, and stamped his fame as that of a commander of transcendent courage and ability. With forty-five thousand men, he had met and defeated one hundred and twenty-five thousand, who were equipped for their onset with everything which lavish wealth, careful discipline, and deliberate preparation, could provide. He had inflicted on them a total loss nearly equal to his whole army, had captured enough small arms and camp equipage to furnish forth every man in his command, and, in precisely a week, had hurled back the fragments of this multitudinous host to its starting point, baffled and broken. His line of defence was successfully turned on his right and left, by an adroit movement; his communications [705] severed; and his little army seemingly placed within the jaws of destruction. But with an impregnable equanimity, he had awaited the full development of his adversary's designs; and then, disregarding for the time those parts of his assault which his wisdom showed him were not vital, had concentrated his chief strength upon the important point, and with a towering courage which no odds could appal, had assailed his gigantic adversary on his vulnerable side with resistless fury. How much of the credit of this unexampled success is due to the assistance of General Jackson, has already been indicated. But the history would be incomplete if it failed to refute the statement, which has been made by some of the pretended assertors of Jackson's fame; that the victories of Lee were due wholly to his military genius, and ceased when he fell. The reputation of Jackson does not need to be supported by these invidious follies. The Commander-in-Chief was the first to recognize, with unrivalled grace and magnanimity, his obligations to Jackson's valued assistance. But he fell in the midst of the struggle, and Lee conducted it to its close with the same skill, genius, and happy audacity, with which it was commenced. It was the glory of Virginia that, superior to the lioness, which rears but one young lion, her fruitful breasts could nourish at once the greatness of more than one heroic son. [706]

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