Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 40.djvu/101

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97
The Campaign of Chancellorsville.

first instructions. But his conduct is inconsistent with the fine reputation he bore in the army of Northern Virginia as one of its most tried and experienced division commanders. While this see-sawing was going on McLaws had applied to General Lee for assistance. Lee generously dispatched Anderson's division, leaving himself only Stuart's battered divisions to face at least 75,000 men. In looking at the relative strength of the opposing forces, it is amazing that Hooker did not assume the offensive, and attempt a counter-stroke. Reynold's corps and the larger part of Meade's corps had not been engaged. Howard's corps had had a day to recuperate, and Averill joined him that morning with 4,000 cavalry. Had Hooker any conception of the thinness of Lee's lines, his failure to attack would have been criminal. But then he had not recovered from the injury on the day previous, and he is described as having the appearance of a man in a stupor. It was asserted at the time and afterwards that he was under the influence of liquor, but there does not appear to be any foundation for this charge, and if there had been, there was not wanting among those high in authority and none too friendly sufficient hostility to have made it good.

Anderson under instructions from Lee was engaged in feeling Hooker's left when on the morning of the 4th, he was ordered to proceed with his three remaining regiments and report to McLaws on the Plank road. He arrived at 11 A. M., and at 12 M. was in position between McLaws and Early.

General Lee was not aware up to this time that Reynolds had been transferred from Sedgwick to Hooker, and was under the impression that Sedgwick had two corps with him. Sedgwick on the other hand believed that Early had been reinforced by the arrival of 15,000 fresh troops from Richmond. Sedgwick's lines covered three sides of a rectangle with the open side to the north. Newton's line ran south from a point on the River road east of Bank's ford to a point south of the toll house on the Plank road facing McLaws. Brooks' line ran just south of the Plank road from the toll house to a point beyond Guest's house facing Anderson, and Howe faced Early to the