The rest of his army Lee at once took well in hand, and moved out to meet the Army of the Potomac. McLaws was hurried forward to sustain the line taken up by Anderson. He arrived on the ground by daylight of Friday, and went into position in rifle-pits on the right about Smith’s Hill.
Jackson, equally alert, but having a longer distance to march from the extreme right along the military road, arrived about eight A.M., took command, and, as was his wont, ordered an immediate advance, throwing Owens’s regiment of cavalry forward to reconnoitre.
Posey and Wright followed Owens on the plank road, with Alexander’s battalion of artillery. Mahone, and Jordan’s battery detached from Alexander, marched abreast of his right, on the pike.
McLaws followed Mahone, and Wilcox and Perry were called from Banks’s Ford to sustain this column, which McLaws directed; while Jackson, following on the plank road, watched the operations of the left.
Hooker’s advance Friday.
So far the headquarters of the Army of the Potomac had been at Falmouth, where still remained Gen. Butterfield, Hooker’s chief of staff. The last order from this point had been on Thursday to Gen. Sedgwick, who was therein notified that headquarters would be that night at Chancellorsville; that an advance would be made Friday morning along the plank road (meaning probably the pike) towards Fredericksburg, to uncover Banks’s Ford, thus making a shorter communication through Butterfield, who would still remain at Falmouth. This order substantially recapitulates former instructions, and is full of the flash and vim of an active mind, till then intent on its work and abreast of the situation. It urges on Sedgwick co-operation with the right wing, and the most vigorous pushing of the enemy. It impresses on him that both wings will be within easy communication, and ready to spring to one another’s assistance.
Slower than his adversary, and failing to follow up with vigor his advantage already gained, Hooker assumes command in person, and reconnoitres the ground between himself and Fredericksburg. He then orders Meade, with Griffin, followed by Humphreys, and with three batteries, to march along the river road to some commanding point between Mott and Colin Runs; his advance to be masked by throwing out small parties, and his command to be in position by two P.M., while Sykes’s division, supported by Hancock’s division of the Second Corps, march out the turnpike to a corresponding distance, each force then deploying towards the other, and engaging the enemy supposed to be in that vicinity.
A third column, consisting of the Twelfth Corps, he orders to march by the plank road, and to be massed near Tabernacle Church, masked in like manner; to be in position by midday, so that the Eleventh Corps can move up to take position a mile in its rear as reserve, by two P.M.