#OTD in 1863 – American Civil War: Thomas Francis Meagher on Battle of Chancellorsville.

Report of Brig. Gen. Thomas Francis Meagher, U. S. Army, commanding Second Brigade
APRIL 27-MAY 6, 1863 –– The Chancellorsville Campaign

BANKS’ FORD, NEAR FALMOUTH, VA.
April 28, 1863––1.30 p.m.

Maj. JOHN HANCOCK,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Hancock’s Division.

MAJOR: I have the honour to inform the major-general commanding the division that, in accordance with instructions received from him, I proceeded to this ford on yesterday forenoon, to relieve Colonel Kelly and take command of the brigade.

On arriving at the ford (where I found the Sixty-third encamped), I learned that Colonel Kelly had, an hour previous, proceeded to the United States Ford, at which place, I was advised by the major general, two regiments of the brigade were to be stationed. Accordingly, I set out at once to the United States Ford, taking the corduroy road leading up from Banks’ Ford to the Warrenton pike, being ignorant of the River road, not having either a map or guide to direct me. I proceeded along the Warrenton pike until I reached Hartwood Church, when I took the road leading to the United States Ford, at which I arrived some time about 5 p.m., and found everything perfectly quiet, and the Sixty-ninth and One hundred and sixteenth posted there in the best order. Colonel Kelly had left something more than an hour before, to return to Banks’ Ford. I concluded, therefore, on remaining at the United States Ford until this morning, it being too late for me to return to the lower one by the only route (that of the Warrenton pike) with which I was acquainted.

This morning, a little before 9 o’clock, the Twenty-eighth Massachusetts Volunteers came in, having remained over night at Hartwood Church. As I was on the point of leaving for Batiks’ Ford, orders arrived for the regiments of the brigade stationed at the United States Ford to proceed to the former one. These orders were immediately put into execution, General Carroll’s brigade, which reached the ground about the same time as the orders did, more than supplying their place. The Sixty-ninth, One hundred and sixteenth, and Twenty-eighth are expected very soon. I have relieved Colonel Kelly from the command, and have received from him all the instructions communicated to him as guidance for the command.

I have the honour to be, very respectfully, yours,
THOMAS FRANCIS MEAGHER,
Brigadier-General, Commanding

Image | Thomas Francis statue in front of the Montana State House in Helena, Montana

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