Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 04.djvu/19
Battle of Chancellorsville.
pendicular to the road, the order was misunderstood for an order to attack, and that part of the line became engaged. I ordered the whole line to advance and the second and third lines to follow. As the sun lifted the mist that shrouded the field, it was discovered that the ridge on the extreme right was a fine position for concentrating artillery. I immediately ordered thirty pieces to that point, and under the happy effects of the battalion system, it was done quickly. The effect of this fire upon the enemy's batteries was superb. In the mean time the enemy was pressing our left with infantry, and all the reinforcements I could obtain were sent there. Colquitt's brigade, of Trimble's division, ordered first to the right, was directed to the left to support Pender. Iverson's brigade, of the second line, was also engaged there, and the three lines were more or less merged into one line of battle, and reported hard pressed. Urgent requests were sent for reinforcements, and notices that the troops were out of ammunition, &c. I ordered that the ground must be held at all hazards; if necessary, with the bayonet. About this time, also, our right connected with Anderson's left, relieving all anxiety on that subject. I was now anxious to mass infantry on the left, to push the enemy there, and sent every available regiment to that point. About 8 o'clock A. M., the works of the enemy directly in front of our right were stormed; but the enemy's forces retiring from the line facing Anderson, which our batteries enfiladed, caused our troops to abandon these works, the enemy coming in their rear. It was stormed a second time, when I discovered the enemy making a flank movement to the left of the road for the purpose of dislodging our forces, and hastened to change the front of a portion of our line to meet this attack; but the shortness of the time and the deafening roar of artillery prevented the execution of this movement, and our line again retired. The third time it was taken I made disposition of a portion of Ramseur's brigade to protect the left flank. Artillery was pushed forward to the crest, sharpshooters were posted in a house in advance, and in a few