Report of Maj. Gen. Jubal A. Early, C. S. Army,
The Chancellorsville Campaign
APRIL 27-MAY 6, 1863
HEADQUARTERS EARLY'S DIVISION,
May 7, 1863.
Maj. W. H. TAYLOR,
Army Northern Virginia.
MAJOR: About daylight on the 29th ultimo, the enemy crossed at the mouth of Deep [Run], and later near Pratt's house, below. On receiving information of the first movement, I immediately moved my division into line on the railroad, the right resting at Hamilton's Crossing and the left at Deep Run. I occupied the River road in front with three regiments, and thus kept the enemy from advancing to that road.
The residue of the troops having in the meantime been brought up, on the afternoon of the 30th, I received instructions from Lieutenant-General Jackson to remain behind with my division and one of McLaws' brigades (Barksdale's), to observe the enemy, while the residue of the troops were removed to the left. General Pendleton, with a portion of his Reserve Artillery, and Lieutenant-Colonel [R. S.] Andrews, with his battalion of artillery, was also left behind. My division and Andrews artillery occupied the lines on the right, and Barksdale's brigade and Pendleton's artillery occupied Fredericksburg and the heights in rear.
About 11 o'clock on the 2d instant, instructions were received from General Lee, through General Chilton, to leave a brigade behind as a guard, and move with the residue up to Chancellorsville, and as soon as I could get ready I commenced the movement, leaving behind Hays' brigade and one of Barksdale's regiments. A portion of General Pendleton's artillery, under like instructions, was sent to the rear. After I had commenced the movements, and had reached the Plank road, and moved the head of the column up it about a mile, information was received from the rear of such a character as to cause me to turn back and occupy the former line as before.
About light on next morning (Sunday, the 3d), I received information from General Barksdale that the enemy had thrown a bridge across at Fredericksburg, and I immediately sent Hays' brigade from the right to his support. In a short time the enemy commenced making demonstrations from the mouth of Deep Run and Fredericksburg. All his efforts to attack the left of my right line were thwarted, and one attack on Marye's Hill was repulsed. The enemy, however, sent a flag of truce to Colonel [Thomas M.] Griffin, of the Eighteenth Mississippi Regiment, who occupied the works at the foot of Marye's Hill with his own and the Twenty-first Mississippi Regiment, which was received by him improperly, and it had barely returned before heavy columns were advanced against the positions, and the trenches were carried and the hill taken, a large portion of the Eighteenth Mississippi Regiment and a part of the Twenty-first being taken prisoners, and a company of the Washington Artillery, with its guns, were captured. After this the artillery on Lee's Hill and the rest of Barksdale's infantry, with one of Hays' regiments, fell back on the Telegraph road, Hays, with the remainder, being compelled to fall back up the Plank road, as he was on the left. Having received information, I hastened up, and succeeded in halting the artillery and infantry and checking the advance of the enemy, and had the brigades on the right thrown back into the second line; and upon the arrival of Hays' brigade, which came round from the Plank road, and three regiments of Gordon's, which had been sent for as soon as I heard of the disaster, a line was formed across the Telegraph road at Cox's house, about 2 miles back of Lee's Hill.
Having received information late in the day that McLaws was moving down, and that the enemy, who had passed heavy columns up the Plank road through Fredericksburg, was to be attacked by his forces and mine in connection, I concentrated all my force at Cox's house, which was not accomplished until after night.
Having previously informed General McLaws of my intention to attack Marye's Hill next morning on the right, and advance, extending my left so as to close in on him, early next morning I threw Hoke's and Hays' brigades across Hazel Run to move down toward the right, and advanced Gordon's brigade toward Lee's and Marye's Hills, followed by Smith's and Barksdale's brigades. Gordon succeeded in capturing Marye's Hill with ease, aided by Colonel [R S.] Andrews' artillery, and Barksdale's brigade was thrown into the trenches in front of the hill, and Smith's brigade moved across Hazel Run, and a line formed facing up the Plank road, on the plain between Marye's Hill and the heights on the Plank road, and at Taylor's house. I then waited to hear from McLaws, but, hearing no sound of an engagement in that direction, I felt the enemy with Smith's brigade, and, finding that he had artillery on the heights in front of my right, I ordered the brigade to retire, and sent to General McLaws, requesting him to move. In return, I received information that Anderson's division was moving down, and that an attack was to be made at a given signal. Subsequently I was sent for by General Lee, and, having received his instructions, at the signal agreed on, Hays', Hoke's, and Gordon's brigades, which had been placed in position, were advanced against the enemy; Hays advancing in the center from the foot of the hill, opposite the mill on Hazel Run; Hoke, on the left, advancing across the hill on which Downman's house is situated and below it; and Gordon, on the right, up the hills on the north of the Plank road--all driving the enemy before them. This movement was commenced very late, and Hays' and Hoke's brigades were thrown into some confusion by coming in contact after they crossed the Plank road below Guest's house, and it becoming difficult to distinguish our troops from those of the enemy's on account of the growing darkness, they had, therefore, to fall back to reform, which was done on the plain below Guest's house. Gordon's brigade got in rear of the enemy's right flank near Taylor's house, and took its position there. Barksdale's brigade had been left at Marye's Hill, and Smith's in position on the left of it to strengthen Barksdale or re-enforce the others, as occasion might require, and two regiments were ordered up while Hays' and Hoke's were being reformed. After seeing General Lee, at night Hoke's brigade was placed in line on the left of Gordon, and Hays was ordered to take position in the intrenchments on the right of Marye's Hill, and Smith's regiments sent back to join the residue of the brigade on the left of that hill.
The loss in my division during all the time from the crossing was 136 killed, 838 wounded, and some 500 are reported missing, the greater part of whom are, in all probability, stragglers. This does not include the loss in Barksdale's brigade and the artillery.
J. A. EARLY,
Major General, Commanding.
RETURN TO CHANCELLORSVILLE ORDER OF BATTLE (ANV) PAGE