The Campaign of Chancellorsville eBook

Theodore Ayrault Dodge
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 209 pages of information about The Campaign of Chancellorsville.

XXIV.

The new lines.

The new lines, prepared by Gens.  Warren and Comstock, in which the Army of the Potomac might seek refuge from its weaker but more active foe, lay as follows:—­

Birney describes the position as a flattened cone.  The apex touched Bullock’s, (White House or Chandler’s,) where the Mineral-Spring road, along which the left wing of the army had lain, crosses the road from Chancellorsville to Ely’s Ford.

Bullock’s lies on a commanding plateau, with open ground in its front, well covered by our artillery.  This clearing is north of and larger than the Chancellor open, and communicates with it.  The position of the troops on the left was not materially changed, but embraced the corps of Howard and Slocum.  The right lay in advance of and along the road to Ely’s, with Big Hunting Run in its front, and was still held by Reynolds.  At the apex were Sickles and Couch.

The position was almost impregnable, and covered in full safety the line of retreat to United-States Ford, the road to which comes into the Ely’s Ford road a half-mile west of Bullock’s.

To these lines the Second, Third, and Twelfth Corps retired, unmolested by the enemy, and filed into the positions assigned to each division.

Only slight changes had been made in the situation of Meade since he took up his lines on the left of the army.  He had, with wise forethought, sent Sykes at the double-quick, after the rout of the Eleventh Corps, to seize the cross-roads to Ely’s and United-States Fords.  Here Sykes now occupied the woods along the road from Bullock’s to connect with Reynolds’s left.

Before daylight Sunday morning, Humphreys, relieved by a division of the Eleventh Corps, had moved to the right, and massed his division in rear of Griffin, who had preceded him on the line, and had later moved to Geary’s left, on the Ely’s Ford road.  At nine A.M., he had sent Tyler’s brigade to support Gen. French, and with the other had held the edge of Chancellorsville clearing, while the Third and Twelfth Corps retired to the new lines.

And, when French returned to these lines, he fell in on Griffin’s left.

About noon of Sunday, then, the patient and in no wise discouraged Union Army lay as described, while in its front stood the weary Army of Northern Virginia, with ranks thinned and leaders gone, but with the pride of success, hardly fought for and nobly earned, to reward it for all the dangers and hardships of the past few days.

Gen. Lee, having got his forces into a passable state of re-organization, began to reconnoitre the Federal position, with a view to another assault upon it.  It was his belief that one more hearty effort would drive Hooker across the river; and he was ready to make it, at whatever cost.  But, while engaged in the preparation for such an attempt, he received news from Fredericksburg which caused him to look anxiously in that direction.

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The Campaign of Chancellorsville from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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