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Doc. 183.-battle of Chancellorsville.

Report of Brig.-Gen. Steinwehr.

headquarters Second division, Eleventh corps, Stevens's farm, Va., May 8, 1863.
To Lieutenant-Colonel Meurenburg, Assistant Adjutant-General, Eleventh Corps:
Colonel: I have the honor to forward the following report of the part taken by my division in the action on the evening of the second of May:

On the thirtieth ultimo we arrived near Dowdell's tavern, about two miles west of Chancellorsville. This tavern is situated on the plank-road, which runs in an easterly direction toward Chancellorsville and Fredericksburgh. It is surrounded by undulating fields, which are seamed on three sides by heavy timber, but slope down at the west side toward open ground traversed by a small brook. Upon these fields you ordered me to take position.

I directed the First brigade, Col. Buschbeck, to occupy the fields south of the road, and the Second brigade, Gen. Francis Barlow, those north of it. My division was to be considered as a reserve for the First and Third divisions, which were placed in position west of us. At about four o'clock P. M., on the second instant, you ordered me to send the Second brigade, General F. Barlow commanding, to support the right wing of General Sickles's corps, then engaged with the enemy. The brigade immediately started, and, accompanied by yourself and myself, reached the right wing of General Birney's division (of General Sickles's corps) in about an hour's time. We found General Birney's sharp-shooters skirmishing with the enemy; and as no engagement was imminent, I returned to the First brigade, near Dowdell's.

Soon I heard heavy firing in that direction, which showed that a strong attack was made upon our corps. When I arrived upon the field I found Colonel Buschbeck, with three regiments of his brigade, (the Twenty-seventh Pennsylvania, Seventy-third Pennsylvania, and One Hundred and Fifty-fourth New-York volunteers,) still occupying the same ground, near the tavern, and defending this position with great firmness and gallantry ; the fourth regiment (the Twenty-ninth regiment New-York volunteers) he had sent to the north side of the road, to fill the place lately occupied by the Second brigade, before its detachment. The attack of the enemy was very powerful. They emerged in close columns from [580] the woods, and had thrown the First and Second divisions, who retired toward Chancellorsville, in great confusion. Col. A. Buschbeck succeeded to check the progress of the enemy, and I directed him to hold his position as long as possible. The men fought with great determination and courage.

Soon, however, the enemy gained both wings of the brigade, and the enfilading fire which was now opened upon this small force, and which killed and wounded nearly one third of its whole strength, soon forced them to retire. Colonel A. Buschbeck then withdrew his small brigade in perfect order toward the woods, the enemy closely pressing on. Twice he halted, fired a round, and at last reached the rear of General Sickles's corps, which had been drawn up in position near Chancellorsville. Here he formed his regiment in close column, and you will recollect, offered to advance again to a bayonet-charge. The Second brigade, Gen. F. Barlow commanding, had, during this time, advanced in a southerly direction. Gen. F. Barlow soon also heard the heavy firing. He received from Gen. Birney a communication advising him to close up to the Third corps, which he joined about nine o'clock P. M. near Chancellorsville. On the morning of May third General F. Barlow reviewed the corps.

Both brigades were placed, on the third of May, behind the rifle-pits toward the left of the army, which position they occupied until the army was withdrawn, on May sixth. From this short relation, you will see that my Second brigade was not engaged, owing to its being detached, and that the First brigade displayed the greatest bravery under very trying circumstances. It numbered about one thousand five hundred muskets, and held a position which was originally designed to be held by my whole division. It stood undismayed by the furious attack of an enemy flushed with victory over the two other divisions, and was ready again to advance as soon as it was re-formed. Our loss is heavy. The First brigade lost in killed and wounded four hundred and ninety-four men and two officers; among the latter, three regimental commanders, Col. Jones, One Hundred and Fifty-fourth regiment New-York volunteers; Lieut.-Col. Hartmann, Twenty-ninth regiment New-York volunteers; and Lieut.-Col. Moore, of Third Pennsylvania volunteers.

Col. Buschbeck lost two aids, Capt. Bode, seriously wounded, and Lieut. Grimm, both probably in the hands of the enemy. I must speak in high terms of Col. Adolph Buschbeck for his gallantry and determination, and for the complete control he retained over his command during the whole time of the engagement; also, of his Acting Assistant Adjutant-General, Capt. Alexander, who was constantly in the lines, and cheered the men by his courageous bearing. The conduct of the officers of my own staff also merits praise. They were much exposed. Major McAloon, Assistant Inspector--General, particularly distinguished himself. I annex a sketch of the ground, showing the first position of this division. I have the honor to be your obedient servant,

A. Von Steinwehr, Brigadier-General Commanding Second Division.

General Carroll's report.

headquarters First brigade, Third division, army corps, May 10, 1863.
Major John M. Norvell, Assistant Adjutant-General Third Division, Second Army Corps:
sir: I have the honor to make the following report of the part taken by my brigade in the late expedition across the Rappahannock, and in the action at Chancellorsville.

I moved from my present camp at six A. M. of the twenty-ninth ultimo, arrived in the vicinity of the United States Ford about eleven A. M., picketed the river from about a mile below the Ford, up to and including Richardson's Ferry. On the thirtieth ultimo, at half-past 3 P. M., the pontoon-bridges having been laid, this brigade was the first to cross, forming a line of battle on the hills opposite and skirmishing through the woods, finding no enemy. A short time before dusk were put en route and marched to the White House, near Chancellorsville, where we bivouacked for the night.

On May first, at one o'clock P. M., was ordered to move the brigade on the road to Chancellorsville. The column had not cleared camp before the action was commenced by the forces in our front. We remained in this position for an hour, and then was ordered to mass my brigade in the woods on the right of the road, which was done. After retaining this position for some two hours, was ordered to occupy the same ground I did the night before. About dusk was ordered to form in line of battle on the edge of the wood to the right of the road, which position we occupied during the night.

Between seven and eight o'clock A. M., on the second, was ordered by the Major-General commanding division to occupy the edge of the wood on the left of the wood, the line of battle being nearly perpendicular to the line occupied the night before, joining with Major-Gen. Hancock's division my right, and Major-Gen Sykes's division on my left, and to throw out skirmishers on the same line with theirs. Between ten and eleven A. M. was ordered by the Major-General commanding the corps to dig rifle-pits and fell an abattis in my front, which were completed by sunset. I retained my position during the night.

At seven A. M., on the third, received orders from the Major-General commanding division to take four regiments and form line of battle facing the woods, parallel to the plank-road, which I did, taking the Eighth Ohio, Fourteenth Indiana, Fourth Ohio, and Seventh Virginia, leaving the Twenty-fourth and Twenty-eighth New-Jersey to occupy the rifle-pits we had dug; then received orders from the same source to have the right wing of the right regiment from behind the houses and out-buildings occupied by the division commander as his headquarters. In about half an [581] hour received orders from the division commander to move forward through the woods and attack the enemy, that had just driven the force in front of us from those woods. I did so, leaving, by some misapprehension of the Lieutenant-Colonel commanding, for which no blame can be attached to him, the Eighth Ohio, which remained supporting the battery on our right. We engaged the enemy, consisting of about eight battalions, some thirty yards in the woods, received one volley from them, fired at random, and drove them at a quick pace through the woods over the plankroad and out of their rifle-pits. Some thirty yards beyond their pits they had a column of at least a division massed, who also started in retreat when the first line reached their, but, perceiving our small number, they turned and drove us back, at the same time opening a battery on the plank-road, enflading us with grape and canister.

In their rifle-pits we captured two stand of colors, had possession of a large quantity of small arms and ammunition, lying in boxes in front of their works, and captured one major, five captains, seven lieutenants, and two hundred and seventy enlisted men, and released a regiment of Zouaves belonging to the Third corps,1 that were held as prisoners behind those pits.

In my opinion, had we been supported by a division, we could have retained possession of the plank-road. In retiring through the woods they followed us slowly and at long-range, doing but little damage with small arms, but playing upon us heavily with shell. We met Caldwell's brigade going to the front as we were emerging from the wood retiring.

The Twenty-fourth and Twenty-eighth New-Jersey Jersey afterward moved in on our right, separated from us by the First Delaware, One Hundred and Thirty-second Pennsylvania, of another brigade, and consequently not knowing of their movement, or being able to see them, on account of the thick underbrush, I could not supervise them. They joined me after I came out of the woods retiring. It was about three hours and a half from the time I formed in line to move forward until I returned. My men behaved in the most gallant style, and I had much more trouble to make them retire when it was found useless to advance than to move forward. The pioneer corps, under the command of Capt. N. Willard, was formed across the road to stop flying stragglers. They took possession of our prisoners as they were brought out of the woods and turned them over to an aid of Gen. Patrick, and rejoined me at the same time with the Twenty-fourth and Twenty-eighth New-Jersey.

We then reoccupied our rifle-pits for about an hour, when I was ordered to move to the left and occupy the position at right angles to our rifle-pits, pits, which General Sykes's division had formerly occupied. In moving to this position we were heavily shelled by the enemy and met with some loss. The rest of the day was occupied by us in constructing rifle-pits along his line. Skirmishers were placed about six hundred yards in front of my works, connecting with

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