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The month of April has but few events of military note beyond what has been referred to in the foregoing pages. The check of Van Dorn at Franklin, Tennessee, and the reverse of Pegram in Kentucky, were unimportant incidents; they did not affect the campaign, and their immediate disasters were inconsiderable. The raid of the latter commander into Kentucky, again revived reports of the reaction of public sentiment in that unhappy State in favor of the Confederacy. It was on his retreat that he was set upon by a superior force of the enemy near Somerset, from which he effected an escape across the Cumberland, after the loss of about one hundred and fifty men in killed, wounded, and prisoners.

This period, properly the close of the second year of hostilities, presents a striking contrast with the corresponding month of the former year with respect to the paramount aspects of the war. In April, 1862, the Confederates had fallen back in Virginia from the Potomac beyond the Rappahannock, and were on the point of receding from the vicinity of the lower Chesapeake before the advancing army of McClellan. Now they confronted the enemy from the Rappahannock and hovered upon his flank within striking distance to the Potomac, while another portion of our forces manoeuvred almost in the rear and quite upon the flank of Norfolk. Twelve months ago the enemy threatened the important Southern artery which links the coast of the Carolinas with Virginia; he was master of Florida, both on the Atlantic and the Gulf; and Mobile trembled at every blast from the Federal bugles of Pensacola. Now his North Carolina lines were held exclusively as lines of occupation; he was repulsed on the seaboard; his operations in Florida were limited to skirmishing parties of negroes; and Mobile had become the nursery of cruisers in the very face of his blockading squadron. A year ago the grasp of the enemy

on which the shot glances. The inventor of that noble naval structure, Commander Brooke, claimed the slanted or roof-shaped sides as constituting the original feature and most important merit of his invention. We may add now that to the genius of this accomplished officer the Confederacy was variously indebted; for it was a gun of his invention-" the Brooke gun"-that fired the bolt which pierced the turret of the Keokuk, and gave the first proof in the war that no thickness of iron, that is practical in the construction of such a machine, is sufficient to secure it.

was closing on the Mississippi from Cairo to the Gulf; but while Butler was enjoying his despotic amusements and building up his private fortunes in the Crescent City, the strongholds of Vicksburg and Port Hudson were created, and held at bay the most splendid expeditions which the extravagance of the North had yet prepared. A year ago the enemy, by his successes in Kentucky and Tennessee, held the way almost into the very heart of the Confederacy, through Eastern Tennessee and Western Virginia. Now the fortunes of the war in that whole region were staked upon the issues of impending battle.

For three months the "grand hesitation" of the North had continued. With some seven or eight hundred thousand soldiers in the field and countless cruisers swarming on our coasts, the enemy had yet granted us a virtual suspension of arms since the great battles of Fredericksburg and Murfreesboro', interrupted only by petty engagements and irresolute and fruitless bombardments. He had shown that he possessed no real confidence in the success of his arms; he had so far failed to reduce any one of "the three great strongholds of the rebellion," Richmond, Charleston, and Vicksburg; and he had ceased to map out those plans of conquest of which he was formerly so prolific.


Close of the Second Year of the War. Propriety of an Outline of some succeeding Events.-Cavalry Enterprises of the Enemy.-The raids in Mississippi and Virginia.-SKETCH of the Battles of the RappahaNNOCK.-The Enemy's Plan of Attack. -The Fight at Chancellorsville.-The Splendid Charge of "Stonewall" Jackson.The Fight at Fredericksburg.―The Fight at Salem Church.-Summary of our Victory. -DEATH OF "STONEWALL" JACKSON.-His Character and Services.

THE second year of the war, having commenced with the fall of New Orleans, 1st of May, 1862, properly closes with the events recorded in the preceding chapter. Of succeeding events, which have occurred between this period and that of publication, we do not propose to attempt at this time a full narrative; their detail belongs to another volume. It is proposed at present only to make an outline of them, so as to give to the reader a stand-point of intelligent observation, from which he may survey the general situation at the time these pages are given to the public.

The next volume of our history will open on that series of remarkable raids and enterprises on the part of the enemy's cavalry, which, in the months of April and May, disturbed many parts of the Confederacy. We shall find that the extent of these raids of Yankee horsemen, their simultaneous occurrence in widely removed parts of the Confederacy, and the circumstances of each, betrayed a deliberate and extensive purpose on the part of the enemy and a consistency of design deserving the most serious consideration.

We shall relate how the people of Richmond were alarmed by the apparition of Yankee cavalry near their homes. But we shall find causes of congratulation that the unduly famous expedition of Stoneman was not more destructive. The damage which it inflicted upon our railroads was slight, its hurried pillage did not amount to much, and the only considerable capture it effected was a train of commissary wagons in King William county.

Other parts of the Confederacy, visited about the same time

by Yankee cavalry, were not so fortunate. The State of Mississippi was ransacked almost through its entire length by the Grierson raid. Starting from Corinth, near the northern boundary of Mississippi, a body of Yankee horsemen, certainly not exceeding two thousand, rode down the valley of the Tombigbee, penetrated to a point below the centre of the State, and then making a detour, reached the Mississippi Gulf coast in safety. This force, so insignificant in numbers, made the entire passage of the State of Mississippi, from the northeast to the southwest corner; and the important town of Enterprise was barely saved by reinforcements of infantry which arrived from Meridian just fifteen minutes before the Yankees demanded the surrender of the place.

We shall have to add here cotemporary accounts of another Yankee raid in Georgia. That adventure, however, was happily nipped in the bud by Forrest, who captured the Yankee commander, Stuart, and his entire party, at Rome, Georgia, after one of the most vigorous pursuits ever made of an enemy.

The interest of these raids was something more than that of the excursions of brigands. That of Stoneman was an important part of the great battle which signalized the opening of the month of May on the banks of the Rappahannock, and broke at last the "grand hesitation" of the enemy, which had been the subject of so much impatience in the South.


The plan of attack adopted by Gen. Hooker may be briefly characterized as a feint on our right, and a flank movement in force on our left. It was determined to throw a heavy force across the river just below the mouth of Deep Run, and three miles below Fredericksburg, and pretend to renew the attempt in which Burnside had previously been unsuccessful. The object of this movement was two-fold-first, to hold the Confederate forces at that point; and second, to protect Hooker's communications and supplies, while the other half of the army should make a crossing above the fortifications, and sweeping down rapidly to the rear of Fredericksburg, take a strong position and hold it until they could be reinforced by the portion of the army engaged in making the feint, which was to with

draw from its position, take the bridges to the point of the river which had been uncovered by the flank movement, and the whole army was thus to be concentrated in the rear of Fredericksburg.

The execution of this plan was commenced on Monday, the 26th of April. Three corps d'armée-the Fifth, Eleventh, and Twelfth-were ordered to march up the river with eight days' rations to Kelly's ford, on the north bank of the Rappahannock, near the Orange and Alexandria railroad. This force, under the command of Gen. Slocum, of the Twelfth corps, reached the point at which it was to cross the Rappahannock on Tuesday night. On the same night three other corps--the First, Third, and Sixth-were sent to the mouth of Deep Run, three miles below Fredericksburg, to be ready to undertake the crossing simultaneously with the other corps at Kelly's ford on Wednesday morning, before day. The movement was successfully conducted at both points, and without serious opposition from the Confederates.

The Second corps, under Couch, which had remained at Banks' ford, four miles above the town, was moved up to the United States ford, just below the point of confluence of the Rappahannock and Rapidan, and crossed to join Gen. Slocum, who had crossed the Rappahannock several miles higher up at Kelly's ford, and the Rapidan at Germania Mills and Ely's ford, and marched down to Chancellorsville. These movements occupied Wednesday and Thursday. Hooker now assumed command of the right wing of his army. He took his position across the plank-road and turnpike at Chancellorsville, eleven miles from Fredericksburg, in order to cut off our anticipated retreat in the direction of Gordonsville, and strengthened his naturally formidable position by a series of elaborate abatis and field-works.

The North eagerly seized upon the different circumstances of the existing situation as indicative of victory. Gen. Hooker had made himself conspicuous in the eyes of the Yankees. He was confident, when examined before the Congressional Committee on the conduct of the war, that he could have marched into Richmond at any time at his ease had he been at the head of the Army of the Potomac instead of Gen. McClellan; and if he had had command instead of Burnside,

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