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a grand flank movement on Hooker's extreme right, where Howard was stationed. This indomitable chieftain worked and cut his way through the tangled forest, till he overlapped Howard, and then, just at evening, fell on him like a bolt from heaven, shivering his corps, with one fierce blow, into a thousand fragments. His fierce battalions, shouting as they came, drove the panic-stricken fugitives, like a herd of frightened buffaloes, back towards the center of the army, and seemed about to get in Hooker's rear, and make an end of him, without the dignity, even, of a great battle. The latter saw his danger, and at once showed his true qualities as a Commander. A more terrible man, at the head of his own division, never trod a battle-field, and as such he must now save himself. Sickles had gallantly tried, but in vain, to make a successful stand. Howard, than whom a braver man never drew sword, galloped furiously among his broken columns, waving his empty sleeve as a banner to his men, in vain-his noble heart breaking at the disaster he was powerless to avert. A wilder wreck never strewed the ocean than that tumultuous field exhibited in the gloom of that night. In this perilous crisis, Hooker called on his old division, now Berry's, to stop this refluent tide of battle. Moving firmly into the breach, it presented a solid front, behind which Sickles, and Howard a little later, rallied il part of their troops, and arrested the further progress of the enemy. Thirty pieces of artillery were massed in front of Berry's position, and sent their terrific loads of canister without a moment's cessation, into the crowded ranks of the enemy, that pressed on, reckless of death. The moon shone brightiy down on field and wood, over which rolled the white and sulphurous war clouds, like drifts of ocean mist along the trembling shore. Out of the deep shadows of the woods, and up from the open spaces flooded with moonlight, arose the shouts of men, the swift crash of musketry, and
DEATH OF STONEWALL" JACKSON
the confused noise of foes struggling in mortal combat. But, at midnight, Jackson's victorious charge was stopped, and a lull fell on the trampled field. Hooker had placed himself where, he said, the enemy must come out and attack him. The latter had done so, and, with one tremendous blow, doubled his army up.
Hooker now changed his position, so as to make his lines more compact and solid, and better able to resist the headlong charges of the rebels. What the object of the latter was, in not pressing the battle further that night, is not plain, for an event occurred after it was over, which doubtless had an important bearing on the operations of the next inorning. Jackson, whose brilliant and overwhelming charge had so paralyzed Hooker, after the conflict rode with his staff over the ground in front of the skirmishers, to make observations, and decide where he should plant his next blow, and in returning, was fired on by his own men, through mistake, and mortally wounded. This disaster was almost equivalent to a victory for us. This indomitable chieftain, at the head of his veterans, pressing up the advantage he had gained the night before, could hardly have failed to affect the fortuna, of the day. He himself is reported to have said, that had he not been struck down, he would have cut off Hooker's retreat to his pontoons.
The next morning, Sunday, at five o'clock, the enemy again moved to the attack, determined to finish what they had successfully commenced. They came along the turnpike from the west, and were met by Berry's and Birney's divisions, moving forward from both sides of the road, supported by Whipple and Williams. The artillery of the fatter was posted so as to command all the approaches by the turnpike. Forty pieces, under Best, swept the ground in front, and when the rebels, in solid mass, came through the woods, opened their fire with appalling fierceness. “The advancing column
VICTORY OF SEDGWICK.
was cut up and gashed, as if pierced, seamed and ploughed by invincible lightning Companies and regiments melted away, yet still they came on. Berry and Birney advanced to meet them. They were terrible shocks. The living waves rolled against each other, as you have seen the billows on a stormy sea.” Nothing, however, could resist the tremendous charges of the rebels, and Sickles' Corps was gradually forced back. They could not break our steadfast lines, but still, compelled them to yield the ground. For nearly six hours, the battle raged with fearful ferocity, and then the rebels withdrew. In the afternoon, they again advanced to the attack, but pressed it less vigorously, as if weakened by their own tremendous exertions.
On this same Sabbath day, Sedgwick had carried the heights of Fredericksburg--the “light brigade” winning immortal honor in the last brilliant assault--and prepared at once to co-operate with Hooker. Had the latter been able to carry out his part of the plan and advance, after the enemy had exhausted himself in a fruitless attack on his own defenses, doubtless a great victory would have been gained. But he had been beaten, though not routed, ia liis own chosen position--behind his defenses—and driven back. Under these circumstances, an advance was out of the question, and he began to look about anxiously, to see, not how he might beat the enemy, but save his army. Heavy rains had set in, and the river in his rear began to rise, and though Stoneman, with his fearless troopers, was ir Lee's rear, and Sedgwick's gallant battalions were shouting on the neights of Fredericksburg, it all availed nothing. Humbled and mortified, he must swallow his boastings, and march back over the river, a defeated man. With an army variously estimated at one hundred and twenty and one hundred and fifty thousand men, he had been beaten by sixty thousand,
Seeing Hooker so badly punished, Lee sent an over
REVIEW OF THE CAMPAIGN.
whelming force against Sedgwick, who, leaving a part of his force to hold the works of Fredericksburg, was with the main army advancing along the plank-road towards Chancchiorsville, to co-operate with Hooker. After a severe fight, he compelled him to retreat across the river under the fire of his artillery, which threatened momentarily to break in pieces the frail bridge, that swayed and trembled under the weight of his swiftly marching columns. It was almost a miracle that this brave officer succeeded in saving his entire corps from utter destruction. The force left on the heights were also driven out of the works and over the Rappahannock, and the position, captured so gallantly, recovered by therebels.
On Tuesday night, Hooker also recrossed the Rappahannock, without loss. Had Lee known of his movements, it could not have been done without serious disaster.
No battle of the war caused such fierce and angry discussion as this. Some asserted that Hooker retreated only because the sudden rise in the river threatened to carry away his pontoons, and cut off his communications. But if General Hooker made the important move he did, in the Spring of the year, without taking into account the probable rise of the Rappahannock, he committed a great blunder-in Lact, an unpardonable one. No event was more likely to occur than this, at that season, and a movement made withont anticipating it was a most unmilitary one.
Much was said of the skill and secrecy with which Hooker had thrown his army across the river at the point chosenthus outwitting Lee; but it afterwards leaked out, througa some private papers captured, that during the Winter previous, this very spot had been selected by the rebel Generals as the one where he would cross; and Chancellorsville, or its neighborhood, designated as the field where the next great battle would be fought. The truth is, Hooker escaped with less loss than he had a right to expect. If Jackson
had not fallen, it is scarcely possible that the former would have been able to ręcross the river without discovery and attack. On the other hand, Sedgwick saved his corps by extraordinary sķill. After their brilliant success, the rebels seemed to show a great lack of generalship or enterprise.
In conjunction with Hooker's endeavor to crush Lee's army, on the Rappahannock, a feint movement was made against Richmond, by way of West Point, under General Keyes, which many thought should have been a real one, as Richmond was so stripped of defenders, that its capture was considered an easy matter.
Colonel Kilpatrick, under Stoneman's command, had dashed down in rear of Lee's army, destroying depots, railroads and telegraph wires in his way-scattered the detachments that obstructed his path-galloped to the very suburbs of the rebe: Capital, spreading terror and confusion wherever he went, and at length, on the 7th of May, he rode into our lines at Gloucester Point. He had been five days in the saddle. and, through rain and mụd, marched two hundred miles losing, in all, but one officer and thirty-seven men. In this bold march into the interior, Stoneman had destroyed bridges, culyerts, ferries, wagons and trains, and captured horses and mules, with but little loss to himself; and the most that could be, was made of it, to compensate for the mortification of Hooker's defeat; but, aside from the boldness, and skill, and energy, with which it was conducted, there was little io console the people. It was a whirlwind sweeping through the country, terrible in appearance, yet producing no lasting or very serious results, for the defeat at Chancellorsville rendered the temporary destruction of Lee's communications of no value.
Another event occurred at this time, which excited but little attention, on account of the more stirring scenes passing