Sunday, May 5, 2013

May 5, 1863

May 5, 1863

---At Chancellorsville, Hooker asks his corps commanders what they should do.  All the corps leaders but Sickles want to stay and fight.  In spite of the sentiment, Hooker orders the retreat to begin.  At some point, because the river is rising, orders are given to cancel the retreat and return to the fortifications.  Gen. Hooker, still indisposed from his injury on May 3, orders the retreat to continue.  Gen. Darius Couch, the senior corps commander, considers Hooker to be unable to command, and he orders the retreat canceled.  Mixed orders and and extreme traffic jam over the last bridge available, brings everything to a standstill.  When dawn comes, the Union army is left uncertain, with troops on both sides of the river, hopelessly snarled.  The Confederates begin to advance their pickets.

Maj. Gen. Joseph Hooker, USA

---A Seneca County, New York, newspaper reports on the Battle of Chancellorsville and losses to the locally raised 33d New York Infantry Regiment:

This gallant regiment bore a conspicuous part in the awful battle at Fredericksburg. Many of the brave ones have fallen, and we dread to hear the full particulars of the terrible carnage. Our brave boys were in the thickest of the fight, being in Sedwick’s [sic] Corps, which alone lost 5000 men. Among the published list of killed and wounded we notice a number from our own county, but we will mention no names until more authentic information is received from the field of slaughter. In the mean time let us hope for the best.

---Clement Vallandigham, an Ohio congressman who is the acknowledged leader of the Copperhead movement---which hopes "To maintain the Constitution as it is, and to restore the Union as it was"---is arrested in Dayton, Ohio, under General Order #38, from the new commander of the Department of the Ohio, Ambrose Burnside.  Burnside has justified the order as consistent with Lincoln’s order that the suspension of habeas corpus may be used when someone is engaged in disloyal speech designed to persuade men not to enlist, or to oppose the draft.  The orders prohibited the "habit of declaring sympathy for the enemy" and openly opposing the war effort.  This order led Vallandigham to defy Burnside, and the congressman led a large rally on May 1 in Mount Vernon, Ohio and gave an inflammatory speech condemning the Emancipation Proclamation, the administration’s motives in prosecuting the war of the government, and Lincoln as a “despot.”  He is imprisoned in Cincinnati, where a public demonstration sets part of the town on fire. 


Rep. Clement Vallandigham, D-Ohio

---George Templeton Strong adds more on the rumors of Chancellorsville going around New York:

Details in the morning papers of fighting on Saturday and part of Sunday.  Very severe and deadly, but we seem to have gained ground, on the whole, taking guns and prisoners and colors, in spite fo the dastardly defection of certain German regiments which broke and ran. . . .

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