Report of Brig. Gen. George Doles, C. S. Army, Commanding Brigade.
APRIL 27-MAY 6, 1863.--The Chancellorsville Campaign.
O.R.-- SERIES I--VOLUME XXV/1 [S# 39]
HDQRS. DOLES' BRIG., RODES' DIV., 2D ARMY CORPS,
May 9, 1863.
Capt. G. PEYTON,
CAPTAIN: On the morning of April 29, this brigade was ordered to march in the direction of Hamilton's Crossing. The command was in motion by 8 a.m. Arrived at the Crossing 10 a.m.; remained in position on the crest of the hill at the Hamilton house until 2 a.m., 30th; then moved in position, left of brigade resting on railroad, connecting with right of General Iverson's brigade, and connecting the right with left of General Colquitt's brigade; remained in this position during the day and night:.
At 2 o'clock on the morning of May 1, marched toward Orange Court-House Plank road. About I p.m. formed line of battle on Plank road, about 2 miles from Todd's Tavern; threw out skirmishers, driving back those of the enemy, and took 6 prisoners. About 6 p.m. same day, moved up dirt road I mile beyond Todd's Tavern; bivouacked for the night.
About 6 a.m., May 2, moved up dirt road about half a mile; filed off to the left on the Furnace road, arriving at Germanna road about 3.30 p.m.; formed line of battle, left of brigade resting on said road. Brigade formed as follows: Fourth, Forty-fourth, Twenty-first, and Twelfth Georgia, the Fourth Georgia resting on road, skirmishers thrown forward about 400 yards in advance. At 5 p.m. the order was given to advance against the enemy. The brigade moved as rapidly as possible through a very thick wood, and skirmishers were immediately engaged by those of the enemy. Our forces, marching rapidly forward, assisted in driving in the enemy's sharpshooters, when we were subjected to a very heavy musketry fire, with grape, canister, and shell. The command was ordered to attack the enemy in his intrenched position, drive him from it, and take his batteries. The order was promptly obeyed. The Fourth and Forty-fourth Georgia assaulted his position in front; the Twenty-first Georgia was ordered to move toward the left and flank him, so as to enfilade his intrenchments; the Twelfth Georgia was ordered forward and to the right, to attack a force of the enemy on the right. After a resistance of about ten minutes, we drove him from his positions on the left, and carried his battery of two guns, caissons, and horses. The movement of the Twelfth Georgia on the right was successful. The order to forward was given, when the command moved forward at the double-quick to assault the enemy, who had taken up a strong position on the crest of a hill in the open field. He was soon driven from this position, the command pursuing him. He made a stubborn resistance from behind a wattling fence, on a hill covered thickly with pine. The whole command moved gallantly against this position, Fourth and Forty-fourth Georgia in front, Twenty-first and Twelfth [Georgia]on his left flank and rear. Here we captured one gun (rifled piece). We pursued his retreating forces about 300 yards over an open field, receiving a very severe fire from musketry and a battery of four pieces on the crest of the hill that commanded the field below. His infantry was in large force, and well protected by rifle-pits and intrenchments. The command was ordered to take the intrenchments and the battery, which was done after a resistance of about twenty minutes. The enemy fled in utter confusion, leaving his battery of four pieces, his wounded, and many prisoners. The Twelfth Georgia and the larger portion of the other regiments were formed in good order, and pursued him through the pine forest, moving some 500 yards to the front, and holding that position until after dark. While in this advanced position, the enemy abandoned one gun. Fresh troops having been placed in that position, after dark I ordered the command to retire to the edge of the wood, for the purpose of replenishing ammunition, the men being entirely out, and it being impossible to get ammunition to them. After replenishing with ammunition, we were ordered to bivouac on the field for the night.
During this engagement, which lasted from about 5.30 to 9 p.m., the command captured eight pieces of artillery and many prisoners. The pieces of artillery were ordered to be carried to the rear and turned over to the first artillery or ordnance officer found.
In this engagement we lost many gallant men killed and wounded. Among the killed was Capt. R. M. Bisel, Company K, Fourth Georgia; Capt. G. G. Green (Company F), Capt. H. M. Credille, and Lieut. A. M. Burnside, acting adjutant of the Forty-fourth Georgia, and Capt. U. Allen, Twenty-first Georgia, who fell while gallantly and nobly leading their commands; Col. Phil. Cook, Fourth Georgia, severely, and Capt. A. C. Watkins, Company A, Twenty-first Georgia, mortally, wounded while leading their commands in a charge against the enemy.
Sunday morning, May 3, at 6 o'clock, the command was ordered forward as follows: Forty-fourth, Twenty-first, Twelfth, Fourth [Georgia], the left of the Forty-fourth connecting with the right of General Ramseur's brigade. The march to the front was through a very dense pine wood and swamp. During the march the left of the brigade lost its connection with the right of General Ramseur, and moved off by the right flank, passing in rear of the regiments to its right, while four companies of the Twenty-first Georgia and the Twelfth Georgia, with portions of the Forty-fourth and Fourth [Georgia], moved to the front. The right portion of the brigade was ordered by General [J. E. B.] Stuart to support a battery to its right, while the left moved forward, assaulting the enemy and assisting in driving him from his position from behind a strong work of logs. He was dislodged, after a very stubborn resistance, by a charge. This portion of the command kept up the pursuit, driving him through the woods back on his batteries on the heights near Chancellorsville. While moving to assault him in his position on the hill, I discovered the enemy in large force to my right. Colonel [Edward] Willis, commanding Twelfth Georgia, was ordered to wheel his regiment to the right and engage him, the other companies coming up promptly to Colonel Willis' support. The enemy, after the first fire, fled ; a large number threw down their arms and surrendered; they were ordered to the rear. Being protected by a crest of a hill to the left of the enemy's batteries, we moved by the flank, getting in his rear, when he abandoned seven pieces of artillery on the hill and fled. We were attacked in our rear by his infantry force from the wood; we faced to the rear, charged the wood, and, after a few minutes' resistance, he withdrew. After he withdrew, his batteries at the Chancellor house opened a very destructive fire on us with grape, canister, and shrapnel. We were within about 400 yards of his batteries. We did not have force enough to carry his position, and seeing no support on the field, and the enemy moving a large infantry force to our right, we withdrew to the woods where we first engaged him. That portion of the brigade ordered to support our battery was under command of Col. J. T. Mercer, Twenty-first Georgia. They were afterward ordered forward, and to conform to the movements of General Archer's brigade. After advancing to the woods from which we were forced to retire, they were also forced to retire. The brigade was reformed, and, by order from General [R. E.] Lee, ordered to the spring to our right, to act as provost-guard over a large number of prisoners collected there. We remained there two or three hours; sent prisoners to the rear, under Lieut. R. V. Jones, brigade inspector. We then joined the division on the Germanna road at Chancellorsville; remained in position in the road that night.
On Monday, the 4th, we were ordered to move to the opposite side of the road, to connect our left with the right of General Pender.
On Tuesday, the 5th, the skirmishers were ordered to press forward and feel the enemy--ascertain his position and strength. They found him in strong numbers and well intrenched.
On Wednesday, the 6th, at daylight, skirmishers were again ordered to feel the enemy. They moved to the front, and found he had evacuated his position and withdrawn his forces across the river. About 2 p.m. we were ordered to march back to our old encampment.
In closing this report, I cannot speak in terms too high of Colonel Cook and Lieutenant-Colonel [David R. E.] Winn, of the Fourth Georgia; Colonel [Edward] Willis and Major [Isaac] Hardeman, of the Twelfth Georgia; Lieutenant-Colonel [Samuel P.] Lumpkin, Forty-fourth Georgia; Colonel [John T.] Mercer and Major [T. C.] Glover, Twenty-first Georgia. To their promptness and gallantry, and the able manner in which they were sustained by the officers and men of their commands, all of whom did their whole duty, I acknowledge my indebtedness.
Attention is respectfully called to their reports, which you will find inclosed.
To my staff--Captain [F. T.] Snead, assistant adjutant-general; Lieutenant [E. A.] Hawkins, aide-de-camp; Lieutenant [Richard V.] Jones, brigade inspector; Sergeant Furlow and Privates Cheeves and Ormsby, couriers--I am under many obligations for assistance given me. I respectfully commend them for gallantry and meritorious conduct.
This brigade went into action with 126 officers and 1,468 enlisted men.
Casualties in brigade.
Aggregate 4th Georgia 1 28 12 103 ---- 11 155 12th Georgia 1 11 4 54 ---- 2 72 21st Georgia ---- 15 8 56 ---- 10 89 44th Georgia 2 8 7 99 ---- 5 121 TOTAL 4 62 31 312 ---- 28 437
I am, captain, most respectfully, yours,
RETURN TO CHANCELLORSVILLE ORDER OF BATTLE (ANV) PAGE