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HOOKER'S ADVANCE -STONEMAN'S ORDERS. 353 numbers still were, it is questionable now be retiring on Richmond. The that this army was a full match, on spirit of Hooker's instructions is emequal ground, for its more homoge-bodied in these sentences : neous, better disciplined, more self | " Let your watchword be fight, and let assured, more determined antagonist. all your orders be fight, fight, fight; bearing
in mind that time is as valuable to the Gen
P eral as the Rebel carcasses. voted the two ensuing months to im- “It devolves upon you, General, to take proving the discipline, perfecting the
the initiative in the forward movement of
this grand army; and on you and your noble organization, and exalting the spirit
command must depend, in a great measure, of his men; with such success that the extent and brilliancy of our success. he had, before their close, an army
Bear in mind that celerity, audacity, and re
solution, are every thing in war; and espeequal in numbers and efficiency to cially is it the case with the command you any ever seen on this continent, ex- | have, and the enterprise on which you are
about to embark." cept that which Gen. McClellan commanded during the first three months. These instructions seem to have of 1861. Its infantry was nearly, if been at once terse and perspicuous, not quite, 100,000 strong; its artillery plainly indicating what was expected, not less than 10,000, every way well and why it was required; yet leaving appointed; while its cavalry, number- ample discretion to him who was to ing 13,000, needed only a fair field give them effect. Yet it is hard to and a leader to prove itself the most repress a suspicion that irony lurks effective body of horsemen ever brig- in such language, when addressed to aded on American soil. Horses and an officer like George D. Stoneman. forage having both become scarce in Our cavalry, carefully screening the South, there was not, and never its movements from the enemy, had been, any cavalry force connected marched two days westward, and had with any Rebel army that could thrown across one division, when a stand against it.
rain raised the river so rapidly that Being at length ready, Hooker this vanguard was recalled, swimdispatched so Stoneman, with most of ming its horses; and a succession of his cavalry,31 up the north side of the April storms kept the streams so full river, with instructions to cross, at and impetuous, while the roads were discretion, above the Orange and rendered so bad, that a fresh advance Alexandria Railroad, strike Fitz was postponed to the 27th; Gen. Hugh Lee's cavalry brigade (com- Hooker giving the order for the puted at 2,000) near Culpepper Court movement of his infantry and artilHouse, capture Gordonsville, and lery next day. then pounce on the Fredericksburg The time was well chosen. Longand Richmond Railroad near Sax- street, with three divisions, had been ton's Junction, cutting telegraphs, detached from Lee's army, and was railroads, burning bridges, &c., operating against Gen. Peck below thence toward Richmond, fighting at the James; and it is not probable every opportunity, and harassing by that Lee had much, if any, over 60,000 every means the retreat of the Rebel men on the Rappahannock. True, army, which, it was calculated, would his position at Fredericksburg was * April 13. 31 He says 13,000, in his testimony before the Committee on the Conduct of the War.
Shoth the United
vhel army, had his gibbon’s division
very strong, as we had learned to our | 29th; and, before daylight, Brooks's cost; but it might be turned, as division had crossed in boats and Hooker proceeded to show.
driven off the Rebel pickets; while His army was still encamped at Gen. Wadsworth in like manner led Falmouth, opposite Fredericksburg. the advance of Reynolds's division; The 11th (Howard's) and 12th (Slo- when three pontoon bridges were cum's) corps moved up the river, but laid in front of Sedgwick, and every carefully avoiding observation from thing made ready for crossing in the hostile bank, so far as Kelly's force. Now Sickles's (3d) corps was ford; crossing there the Rappahan- ordered to move ** silently, rapidly to nock that night and next morning, the United States ford, and thence the men wading up to their arm to Chancellorsville, while part of the pits and the Rapidan at Germania pontoons were taken up and sent to Mills, next day, moving thence rap Banks's ford; Reynolds, after makidly on CHANCELLORSVILLE. The 5th ing as great a display as possible, and (Meade's) corps followed; crossing exchanging some long shots with the the Rapidan at Ely's ford, lower Rebels in his front, following, May down. Meantime, the 2d (Couch's) 2d; raising Hooker's force at and corps approached, so nearly as it near Chancellorsville to 70,000 men. might unobserved, to both the United Sedgwick, on the other side of the States and Banks's fords, ready to Rebel army, had his own corps, 22,000 cross when these should be flanked strong; while Gen. Gibbon's division by the advance of the 11th, 12th, of the 2d corps, 6,000 strong, which and 5th behind these fords to Chan- had been left in its camp at Falmouth cellorsville. Resistance had been ex- to guard our stores and guns from a pected here; but none was encoun- Rebel raid, was subject to his order; tered, as none worth mentioning had raising his force to nearly 30,000.. been above; and Couch crossed his! Thus far, Gen. Hooker's success corps 92 at the United States ford on had been signal and deserved. His pontoons, without the loss of a man. movements had been so skillfully Gen. Hooker, at Morrisville, superin- masked that Lee was completely detended the movement; following him-ceived; and the passage of the Rapself to Chancellorsville, where he estab-pahannock had been effected, both lished his headquarters that night. above and below him, and all its
This important movement had fords seized, without any loss whatbeen skillfully masked by a feint of ever. Never did a General feel more crossing below Fredericksburg; the sanguine of achieving not merely a 6th (Sedgwick's) corps laying pon- great but a crushing victory. “I toons and actually crossing at Frank- have Lee's army in one hand and lin's, two or three miles below; the Richmond in the other," was his ex· 1st (Reynolds’s) at Pollock’s Mill, still ulting remark to those around him as lower; the 3d (Sickles’s) supporting he rode up to the single but capacious either or both. Sedgwick was in brick house--at once mansion and chief command on this wing. The tavern—that then, with its appendabridges were ready by daylight of the ges, constituted Chancellorsville. But 32 April 30.
33 April 30.
LEE CONCENTRATES IN HOOKER'S FRONT. 355 the order he issued thereupon evinces | skillfully made that he did not antian amazing misapprehension of his cipate a crossing in force until it was real position and its perils. It reads too late to call on Lee for rëenforceas follows:
ments; and he had no choice but to “HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, )
fall back rapidly before our ad“CAMP NEAR FALMOUTH, VA., vancing columns to Chancellorsville,
“ April 30, 1863. ) | where a fourth brigade joined him; "It is with heartfelt satisfaction that the Commanding General announces to the ar- .
I but, being still too weak to make my that the operations of the last three days head against an army, he obliqued have determined that our enemy must either thence five miles toward Fredericksingloriously fly or come out from behind his defenses and give us battle on our own
burg, at the point where the two ground, where certain destruction awaits roads from Chancellorsville become him. The operations of the 5th, 11th, and
one. 12th corps have been a succession of splendid achievements.
Here Lee soon appeared from “By command of Maj.-Gen. HOOKER. Fredericksburg, with the divisions of "S. WILLIAMS, Ass't Adjt.-Gen."
McLaws and the rest of Anderson's · A General who has but eight days' own. Jackson, with those of A. P. provisions at hand, and these in the Hill and Rhodes (late D. H. Hill's), haversacks of his men, with a capri- had been watching our demonstracious river between him and his dé- tion under Sedgwick, below Frederpôts, and who has been obliged to icksburg; but, when Lee heard that leave behind most of his heavier Hooker had crossed in force above, guns, as well as his wagons, and is he at once inferred that the moveenveloped in a labyrinth of woods ment below was a feint, and called and thickets, traversed by narrow Jackson away toward Chancellorsroads, and every foot of it familiar ville, adding the division of Trimble to his enemy, while a terra incognita to his command and impelling him on even to his guides, has no warrant a movement against Hooker's extreme for talking in that strain. Never right; leaving only Early's division were a few “intelligent contrabands,” and Barksdale's brigade in front of who had traversed those mazes by Sedgwick on our remote left, and to night as well as by day, more im- hold the heights overlooking Frederperatively needed; yet he does not icksburg, which he judged no longer seem to have even seasonably sought likely to be assailed. their services; hence, his general or- Lee had been outgeneraled in the der just recited, taken in connection passage of the Rappahannock on his with his pending experience, was left, while he was watching for Hookdestined to lend a mournful empha- er on his right; but he was not dissis to the trite but sound old moni- concerted. Leaving a very small tion, “Never halloo till you are out force in his works on the Fredericksof the woods.”
burg heights, he pushed his main The fords of the Rappahannock body—at least 50,000 strong-down next above Fredericksburg had been the Gordonsville plank and lateral watched by Gen. Anderson with roads to the point, half-way to Chanthree brigades, some 8,000 strong; cellorsville, where the old turnpike but Hooker's dispositions were so l intersects the plank road; and was
Explanations : A. Positions held by Union troops previous to the | G. Jackson's attack on the 11th corps, May 2. movement.
| H. Position which Union forces retired to and intrenched, B. Positions held by Rebel troops previous to the May 3. movement.
1. Heights at Fredericksburg carried by 6th corps, C. Position taken and held by Union troops, April 29.
May 3. D. Small force of Rebels routed, April 30.”
J. Advanced position attained by 6th corps. E. Farthest advance made by Union forces, May 1.
K, Interior line intrenched previous to retiring of Union F. Line which Union forces retired to and intrenched, forces across U. S. ford, night of May 5th. May 1.
L. Route pursued by Jackson's forces.
here concentrated in time to watch traversed a mile when he met the the development of Hooker's offen- enemy coming on, in greater force, sive strategy.
and a sharp conflict ensued, with A reconnoissance down the old mutual loss; the Rebels extending pike for three miles toward Freder- their line so as to outflank ours, icksburg having developed no hostile while Sykes vainly attempted to conforce, Gen. Hooker ordered $4 an ad- nect with Slocum (12th corps) on his vance of Sykes’s regulars (3d division, right. Gen. Warren, who was su5th corps) on that road, followed by perintending Sykes's movement, repart of the 2d corps ; the 1st and 3d turned and reported progress to divisions of the 5th corps moving on Hooker, who ordered Sykes to fall a road farther north, in the direction back, which he did; bringing off all of Banks's ford; the 11th, followed but a few of his wounded, and very by the 12th, being thrown out west- cautiously followed by the enemy. wardly from Chancellorsville, along Thus the prestige of success, in the the two roads, which are here, for a first collision of the struggle, was short distance, blended, but gradually tamely conceded to the enemy; and separate. An advance of two or the day closed with the woods and three miles toward Fredericksburg thickets in our front filled with Rebel was meditated; but Sykes had hardly sharp-shooters, and the crests of the
34 May 1, 9 4. M.