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"Receive them on the bayonet!"



Stonewall Jackson ached to launch a night attack since he felt the full force he intended had not been applied due to sundown. He believed it was necessary to prevent the enemy from regrouping and turn the tables on the divided Confederates. He planned to strike for U.S. Ford in Hooker's rear to cut off a possible retreat and to reunited with Lee for a combined assault. Colston's and Rodes' divisions became disorganized from the success of the attack, but Hill's 4 brigades were relatively intact. "Press them! Cut them off from the U.S. Ford, Hill. Press them," Jackson said.

Men from Howard's Corps came running by the Chancellor Housr where Hooker was. He could faintly hear the battle due to peculiarities in the terrain and cushioning affects of brush and trees. He ordered Sickles' 3rd division to, "Receive them on the bayonet!" Though it wasn't clear if he was talking about the retreating men or advancing Confederates.

Meanwhile, Sickles knew nothing of the flank attack until he heard Union batteries at Hazel Grove and Fairview booming. His two other divisions were still around Cathrine's Furnace, thus putting them between the superior halves of the Confederate Army and in danger of being surrounded. He hurriedly pulled back to Hazel Grove. While in the process, one division became lost and headed west and ran into freshly entrenched rebels. His other division became lost too, and stumbled into one of Slocum's divisions. A three-sided fight began as Sickles' troops became disorganized. What was left of his divisions made it back to Hazel Grove by midnight.

By this time, Reynolds had moved his entire Corps into reserve and Howard's began to regain some organization near U.S. Ford. Meade's 3 divisions had been relatively untouched during the fight, Couch and Slocum, under cover from the 56 gun barrage from Hazel Grove and Fairview, had adapted their 4 divisions to the situation, along with the one division Sickles left behind. A brigade of cavalry had been detached from Stoneman near the Rapidan and soon joined to check Stuart's pursuit. Hooker became more focused on Sedgwick once again, and ordered him to take Fredericksburg, hold it with Gibbon's division, and press west to Chancellorsville.

Everything seemed to be going just well for the Confederates until the roof caved in. After riding out to scout for a possible night assault to cut off U.S. Ford from the Federals, Stonewall Jackson was wounded when riding back to his lines. Some nervous North Carolinian pickets were confused at the noise of approaching horses and fired. Stonewall was hit and his horse took off toward enemy lines, but he somehow managed to wheel Little Sorrel around and came back, but was met with another volley from the pickets. "Cease firing! Cease firing!" A.P. Hill kept yelling.

Jackson was struck three times. Two in the left arm and once through the right palm. One of his aids managed to stop Little Sorrel and remove Stonewall from the saddle. After hearing the commotion not far away, Federal batteries at Fairview openned up again. Jackson was finally laid on a stretcher and was dropped once on the wounded left arm. He was put in an ambulance and taken to the field hospital.

Command now passed to J.E.B. Stuart. By dawn on the morning of the 3rd, Hooker had reestablished his line in a V-shape with Reynolds deployed along Hunting Run, Meade at the southern apex where the roads from Ely's and U.S. Fords came together, and the fragments of Howard's Corps reassembled along Mineral Spring Run.


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Battle of Chancellorsville: Go back to Homepage
Prelude to Battle: April 1863: Return to it
May 1, 1863: Return to it
May 2, 1863: Return to it

Read On!

May 3-5, 1863: A Threat to the Rear
Death of a Titan: Lee loses his right arm

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