May 1, 1863
Looking West From Chancellor Elementary School
Having crossed the river and concentrated, Hooker ordered his army to advance toward Fredericksburg on May 1st. Meade's V Corps advanced unopposed along the Rappahannock River while the rest of the army moved along the Orange Turnpike and the Orange Plank Road further south. Because of the difficulty of the terrain here in the Wilderness, it was difficult for Hooker to coordinate the movements of his three columns. Meade's column would move far in advance, followed by the column here on the Orange Pike, then by the lagging column further south on the Orange Plank Road. Had the Confederates remained behind defenses at Zoan Church, Hooker's coordination problems wouldn't have been a major factor in the battle, but the rebels were advancing.
The center Union force collided with Lee's advance at the Alsop house, which was somewhere in the foreground of this picture. Advancing along the Orange Turnpike on the left of the picture, Mahone's brigade of Lee's army deployed and pushed back Union cavalrymen of the 8th Pa. Cavalry here and continued westward.
Preservation: Recent plans to develop this portion of the May 1st battlefield were defeated. The owner wanted $40 million dollars for the land despite its being assessed at $5 million. This is the area shown in this and the next two pictures. Working with the developers, who still plan to build on part of the tract, and with donations from people like you and me, the Civil War Preservation Trust has saved much of this site.
From Garden Center Near the Location of the McGee Farm
Mahone continued to advance down the Orange Turnpike visible on the right half of the picture and pushed the Union cavalry from the Lewis House, which was next to the road near the top of the distant hill on the right. Pushing on, Mahone halted at the top of a small valley overlooking a stream known as Lick Run or Mott's Run. The ridge visible in the distance on the far left is on the other side of this creek.
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Continue to Chancellorsville May 1st Part 2