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History of Cambria County, V.2

HISTORY OF CAMBRIA COUNTY. 321
enemy passing westward, probably not more than a half mile south of them and promptly reported to Gen. Hooker. Hooker did not seem to appreciate the importance of the information and did not prepare for it. It has been said that he regarded Lee as retreating and felt confident of his own position.
    At 5:30 p. m. Jackson had reached Hooker's right flank and was actually in the rear of Howard's corps, which was absolutely unprepared for an attack as the men were at supper. Jackson attacked vigorously, produced a panic in Howard's corps and other forces on the right flank, and forced Hooker's men back to the intersection of the White House road and the old turnpike which passes through Chancellorsville, and within a half mile of the latter. This defeat took all the vigor and confidence out of Gen. Hooker and he never recovered it during that battle.
    Sunday, May 3, 1863. The fighting throughout the day was fierce and frightful; Hooker was gradually driven back towards the Rappahannock river. In the morning Gen. Sickles' corps (Capt. Fite) was north of the turnpike, facing A. P. Hill's division of Lee's army, near the point at which Stonewall Jackson had been mortally wounded the night before. Howard (Capt. Gardner) was just south of it and opposite the same forces, but later in the day both were driven back to Chancellorsville. Reynolds (Capt. Hite) was not yet in the general fight. While it was going on Gen. Sedgwick was trying to reach Hooker but could not as Lee's entire army was between them. Gen. Sedgwick had severe fighting at Fredericksburg, and had succeeded in taking Marye's Heights, but had to lose the position to reach Hooker.
    Gen. Reynolds (Capt. Hite) started from Sedgwick's command on Saturday morning. Marching up the north side of the Rappahannock river he crossed it at the United States Fording, and reached the rear of Hooker's army at 1 a. m. Sunday. Thus he did not take part in the terrible fighting at the front.
    About 9 a. m. Gen. Hooker was severely wounded and although he turned the command over to Gen. Darius N. Couch he still retained the supreme authority and assumed the responsibilities. Capt. Fite's and Capt. Gardner's divisions suffered great losses in killed and wounded. Gen. H. G. Berry was killed; Gen. Gershom Mott and Gen. W. J. Sewell were wounded, and Col. F. A. Lancaster of the 115th Pennsylvania (Capt. Fite) was killed. It was Gen. Sickles' corps (Capt. Fite) which began


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Created: 24 Mar 2003, Last Updated: 30 Mar 2008
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Lynne Canterbury, Diann Olsen and contributors