Report of Brig. Gen. John Gibbon, U. S. Army, commanding Second Division
APRIL 27-MAY 6, 1863.--The Chancellorsville Campaign

O.R.-- SERIES I--VOLUME XXV/1 [S# 39]

CAMP OPPOSITE FREDERICKSBURG,
May 7, 1863.

Capt: J. N. POTTER,
Acting Assistant Adjutant General, Second Army Corps.

        SIR: I have the honor to report the part taken by my division in the battle of Fredericksburg, May 3.
        About 10.30 o'clock on the night of the 2d, I received orders from the major-general commanding the army to take immediate possession of Fredericksburg. The Second Brigade, Brigadier General Owen, had already been ordered to Banks' Ford, and the First and Third, under command of Colonels Laflin and Hall, were in motion by 1 o'clock. Our bridge party was fired upon by the enemy in town, and considerable delay was experienced in throwing the bridge across, so that it was after daylight before the passage was accomplished, by which time General Sedgwick had possession of the town, but not of the heights beyond, to the works on which the enemy retired on leaving the town.
        On reporting to Major-General Sedgwick, the division was directed (o march to the right of the town, and make an attempt to turn the left of the enemy's works. As soon as this movement was perceived by the enemy, he commenced to extend his left to occupy the intrenchments, and opened on us with artillery from the hills. This fire was replied to by Brown's (Rhode Island) battery, posted on the right of the town, near Mrs. Washington's monument, and by Adams' (Rhode Island) battery (G), placed on the plain to the right. In this position the battery suffered severely, losing 3 officers and many men and horses, and was shortly afterward moved to the left, alongside of Brown's battery.
        It being found impracticable to turn the enemy's left, which was found protected by a deep and impassable canal, running along the entire front, General Sedgwick decided to assault the center at Marye's Heights, where the works were gallantly carried by Newton's division, of the Sixth Corps, my batteries assisting with their fire. As soon as the heights were carried, I, according to instructions previously received from General Sedgwick, moved by the left flank into town again, under a heavy artillery fire, and joined in the pursuit of the enemy.
        The division captured a number of prisoners, and afterward returned to the town, securing seven pieces of artillery, abandoned by the enemy, and took up position to defend the crossing of the river.
        From the morning of the 4th, when the enemy again occupied his earthworks, until we abandoned the town and took up the bridges, Hall's brigade was almost constantly engaged in skirmishing with the enemy, and finally retreated to thin side in most excellent order.

The loss in the division was as follows:

Command  Killed  Wounded  Missing  Total
First Brigade, Colonel Laflin  ---  16  4  ---
Third Brigade, Colonel Hall  3  56  8  ---
Brown's battery (B), 1st Rhode Island Artillery  ---  ---  ---  ---
Adams' battery (G), 1st Rhode Island Artillery  5  18  ---  ---
Total  8  90  12  110

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JOHN GIBBON,

Brigadier-General, Commanding Division.

ADDENDA.

SPECIAL ORDERS No. 122.

HDQRS. SECOND DIV., SECOND A. C.,
Camp near Falmouth, Va., May 1, 1863.

        Brig. Gun. Alfred Sully having reported to the general commanding the division that it was not in his power to enforce discipline in his command, he is hereby relieved from duty with this division. He will, as soon as the division rejoins the rest o the corps, report to Major-General Couch in person, accompanying the division in its march.
        Colonel Hudson, Eighty-second New York Volunteers, will assume command of the First Brigade.
        By command of Brigadier-General Gibbon:

FRANK A. HASKELL,
First Lieutenant and Aide-de-Camp.

SPECIAL ORDERS No. 105.

HEADQUARTERS SECOND ARMY CORPS,
May 7, 1863.

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        IV. At the request of Brigadier-General Sully, U.S. Volunteers, a court of inquiry is hereby appointed to meet, at such time and place within the limits of the camp as the President may direct, on the morning of May 8, at 11 o'clock.
        Detail for the court: Maj. Gen. W. S. Hancock, Brig. Gen. S. K. Zook, Col. S. S. Carroll.
        The court will investigate and report on the action and conduct of General Sully in the matter of one of the regiments (Thirty-fourth New York Volunteers) of his brigade refusing to do duty on or about the 1st day of May, and express their opinion as to his conduct at that time.
        The junior member of the court will record the proceedings.

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By command of Major-General Couch:

JAMES N. POTTER,
Captain and Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.

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SPECIAL ORDERS No. 114.

HEADQUARTERS SECOND ARMY CORPS,
May 16, 1863.

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        IX. [1.] The court of inquiry, convened at the request of Brig. Gen. A. Sully, U.S. Volunteers, by Paragraph IV, Special Orders, No. 105, Headquarters Second Army Corps, May 7, 1863. and of which Maj. Gen. W. S. Hancock, U.S. Volunteers, is president, rendered the following opinion, viz:
        "In view of these facts, the court is of the opinion that Brig. Gen. A. Sully, U.S. Volunteers, probably doubted his authority, under the existing circumstances, to order extreme measures, and that therefore his action and conduct were not such as to warrant the issue of Brigadier-General Gibbon's Special Orders, No. 122, of May 1, 1863."
        2. The opinion of the court is approved.
        3. The court of inquiry, of which Major-General Hancock is president, is dissolved.
        By command of Major-General Couch:

JNO. S. SCHULTZE,
Captain and Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.

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