Page images
PDF
EPUB

was

and danger to provide for this point. Jackson received three balls, one in his Something like a rushing whirlwind of left arm, near the shoulder, the others men, artillery and wagons was sweep in the arm and right hand. On being ing down the road, and past head- removed to the rear his arm was am. quarters, and on towards the fords of putated, and it was hoped that he the Rappahannock. It seemed in vain to might recover; but pneumonia having attempt to stop them; but fortunately, set in, he lived only a few days, expiras it happened, Pleasanton came up ing on the 10th of May. with his cavalry at this moment; he Without dwelling upon Jackson's life | moved forward rapidly, charged into and character, both of which were rethe woods, and brought his artillery to markable in several respects, and cause bear upon the 'rebels with terrible one to regret that a man like him was effect. Hooker, also, called upon his deluded to such an extent as to engage old division, which he had commanded, in rebellion and revolution, we give || and of which he entertained a very the summing up which Mr. Swinton high opinion, to dash forward into the presents respecting that commander breach and receive the enemy on their whom he terms “the ablest of Lee's bayonets. Gallantly did they obey the lieutenants. Jackson,” he says, call, being now commanded by Gen. essentially an executive officer, and in Berry, and, in perfect order, despite this sphere he was incomparable. De. the herd of fugitives streaming past, they void of high mental parts, and destitook position on a crest at the western tute of that power of planning and end of the clearing around Chancellors combination, and of that calm, broad, ville. Other troops, with artillery, were military intellect which distinguished brought forward, and by steadiness Gen. Lee, whom he regarded with a and determination the rebel advance childlike reverence, and whose designs was checked.

he loved to carry out, he had yet those About this time, in the darkness of elements of character that, above all the night, Jackson, the leader of this else, inspire troops. A fanatic in relimovement, was stricken down, and, as gion, fully believing that he was desit occurred, by the bullets of his own tined by Heaven to beat his enemy soldiers. Anxious to grasp all the re- whenever he encountered him, he insults of his attack, he was pressing for- fused something of his own fervent faith ward through the woods, and went into his men, and at the time of his even beyond his lines to reconnoitre, death had trained a corps whose attacks giving instructions to his troops not to in column were unique and irresistible; fire, unless cavalry approached from and it was noticed that Lee ventured the direction of the enemy. Turning upon no strokes of audacity after Jackwith his staff to re-enter his own lines, son had passed away. his troops, it seems, mistaking them for

Army of the Potomac," p. 289. Esten Cooke's a body of Union cavalry, fired a volley eulogy on Jackson is also worth consulting, and gives

the southern estimate of his character, services and and killed and wounded a number.

ability.

VRBNJA TILDIN GUXDATIONE

[graphic][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors]

CH. XXVI.]

BATTLE OF CHANCELLORSVILLE.

285

1863.

It was evident, from the position of At daylight, on Sunday morning, affairs on Saturday night, that a change Stuart and his men seized the crest of line was necessary, by which the wbich the day before had been ocenemy should be driven from the rear cupied by the left of the 11th corps, and brought into front again. Gen. got thirty pieces of artillery into posiReynolds, with his corps, had been or- tion thereon, and opened a heavy fire dered by Gen. Hooker to join him, and on the plain around Chancellor House.

arrived at United States Ford Hooker, still retaining this as his head

on Saturday afternoon. The quarters, formed the line of battle, with troops were put into position at once Berry’s division on the right, Birney on the right, which was withdrawn next to him, on the left, Whipple and from the plank road to the Ely's Ford Williams supporting. The advance turnpike. This line was immediately speedily became engaged in the ravine, formed by Generals Reynolds and just beyond the ridge where Captain Meade, the latter's position, on the left, Best's guns had done such excellent having been relieved by General How- service the night before. The contest ard's 11th corps, which, notwithstand. was fiercely and energetically carried ing its disorganized condition, was so on. Berry’s division, which had checkfar re-organized during the night as to ed the enemy's advance before, display. be fit for duty again. They were as- ed their bravery and spirit to a high signed the position on the left, where degree. The rebels dashed forward, it was probable there would be little with the battle cry, “Charge, and reor no fighting, and were protected by member Jackson !" and seemed deterthe strong works built the day before mined to crush everything by their treby General Meade's corps. The new mendous onslaught. But vur line now assumed the shape of a tri. fought with equal determination, and angle, prolonged at the apex, the right resisted the advance of the rebels with of the line being somewhat longer than steadfast and unconquerable spirit. the left. As the portion of the line on The exploits of our soldiers in those the right was new, time was necessary tangled, gloomy woods may never be to fortify and entrench it, and the work brought fully to light; but they would was carried on vigorously by the 5th fill volumes. Not only Berry's, but Sicand 1st army corps. The rebels had kles's and French's troops, made good been reinforcing their line all night, fight at their position, receiving Stuand as Jackson was no longer able to art's impetuous assaults; but, after a lead his troops, they were placed under severe struggle, Sickles was forced from command of J. E. B. Stuart. Their in. his front line. So also French was tention was to fight for the possession pressed back, and the attack was reof the plank road, which it was appa- newed on Sickles. rent they must have, as that portion

Lee mean while attacked the centre of it which our troops held was subject and left, where Slocum and Hancock to assaults in front and on both flanks. were in command; but he was gallantly

men

met hy our men. An order was given eleven o'clock on Saturday night, and to fall back to Chancellor House, which immediately set about its execution. was done; and for an hour or more the Some hours before daylight, after sharp battle raged at the angle of the roads. skirmishing, he occupied the town, and Our line, however, soon began to waver; soon after, Gibbon's division crossed Hooker abandoned his headquarters, from Falmouth to join him. Sedgwick now on fire, and retired to a new line, concluded, under all the circumstances, about a mile nearer to the river and to carry, by assault, the heights immecovering the fords. The rebels made a diately in the rear of the town, includdash, and between ten and eleven ing Marye's Hill and the stone wall at o'clock gained possession of Chancel. its base, where our troops had suffered lorsville. The position taken by Hooker so severely during Burnside's camwas a strong one, the right flank rest- paign. Much time had already been ing on the Rapidan and the left on the consumed; the forenoon was fast passRappahannock. The corps of Meade ing, when the deadly struggle began and Reynolds, which, as seems very for driving the rebels out of their posisingular, bad not been called into action tion; but it was executed with a gal. at any of those times when help was so lantry unsurpassed at any time. А greatly needed, were formed on the new thousand of our men were killed, and lines, together with the troops falling the rebels made a hand-to-hand fight back as above stated. Lee was pre- ou the crest and over the guns. The paring to make a vigorous assault with rebel troops under Early retreated over his entire force, when news from Fred- the telegraph road, in a southwardly ericksburg compelled his attention in direction, leaving the plank road to another direction.

Chancellorsville

open

and free for Sedg. Sedgwick, it will be remembered, wick’s forward movement. Gladly seizhad been left some three miles below ing the opportunity, he began his ad. Fredericksburg to await developments vance at once. of the main army at Chancellorsville. It was this position of affairs which The serious injury inflicted on Hooker demanded Lee's attention; for unless by Jackson's bold movement, induced Sedgwick were checked, he would certhe former to send orders to Sedgwick tainly prove a formidable foe in the to occupy Fredericksburg, seize the rear, while Hooker with his army was heights, gain the plank road towards in front. Lee promptly sent a portion Chancellorsville, and move out to join of his troops to assail Sedgwick, not Hooker, destroying any force he might being apprehensive, it seems that meet, and reaching his assigned posi- Hooker would venture meanw bile any tion by daylight, on Sunday morning steps in the offensive.

. Sedgwick was This was a movement which, if success. moving as rapidly as was possible, when, fully carried out, was of great import- being now about half way between ance, but which also involved serious Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville, he risk. Sedgwick received the order at was met by the rebel troops. A sharp

« PreviousContinue »