Today in History:

1017 Series I Volume XXV-I Serial 39 - Chancellorsville Part I


and with good effect. The regiment continued its advance toward the breastworks. Before gaining them, Major W. D. McKim, of General Trimble's staff, ordered the brigade to form line in rear of and parallel to the breastworks, as a support to the two lines which already occupied them.

At this juncture, Lieutenant [R. J.] Barton, acting assistant adjutant-general, turned over the command of the brigade to me, which I assumed for the purpose of executing Major McKim's order and until I could communicate with Colonel [J. H. S.] Funk, of the Fifth [Virginia] Regiment, who was the senior colonel present. I at once gave the order, and moved by the right flank to the high ground fronting the enemy's column above referred to, and directed a heavy fire upon it, the effect of which was clearly seen in the confusion caused in his ranks. The other regiments of the brigade failed to conform to the movement of the Second [Virginia], being hotly engaged with the enemy at the time, and probably not observing it. Thus a gap was caused of some 80 to 100 yards between the left of the Second [Virginia] and the right of the Fourth [Virginia]. Before the other regiments could be moved up, heavy re-enforcements came up at a double-quick to the enemy's support, and it became obvious they intended to charge and endeavor to retake the breastworks. Leaving the regiment in command of Lieutenant-Colonel [R. T.] Colston, with orders to maintain an incessant fire upon the head of their column, I hurried toward the other regiments of the brigade, and prepared them for the expected charge. I had not gotten far down the line when the charge was made. The line on our right, which occupied the breastworks, gave way. But from the incessant direct fire from the Second [Virginia] Regiment in front and the oblique fire from the other regiments of the brigade the enemy was soon driven back in confusion, after which I passed down the line to the Fifth [Virginia] Regiment, where I found Colonel Funk, informed him of the fall of General Paxton, and handed over the command of the brigade to him. Having no staff, he requested me to assist him in the management of the brigade, which I cheerfully did, having full confidence in Lieutenant Colonel Colston's ability to manage the regiment.

Shortly afterward, Major General J. E. B. Stuart, commanding Jackson's corps, rode forward in his usual happy manner, and ordered a charge, which was executed by the brigade with its accustomed gallantry and enthusiasm. Detailed account may be found in the brigade report of the action.

Later in the day the regiment was marched from the Chancellor house in the direction of the United States Ford, when we soon came in view of the enemy, who opened a heavy fire of shell and grape upon our lines. We at once formed line of battle some few hundred yards to the right of and at right angles with said road, and advanced on the enemy's lines under a terrific fire of grape and shell.

Owing to heavy loss and some confusion in the line on our left, after several changes, we took position for the night in a line of the enemy's breastworks.

During the early part of the night we were called to attention, and took position on the road a short distance in our rear, where we remained until the morning of the 4th instant, when, after various changes, we took position about three-fourths of a mile east of the road leading to United States Ford, and in the front line and in front of the enemy's breastworks, where we remained skirmishing until the morning of the 6th instant.

It gives me great pleasure to state that during the entire time of