Wright was ordered to move to Hamilton's crossing where After a short rest the brigade moved to Gen. Anderson's headquarters on the military road. There they bivouacked for the night. Wright received his orders at his bivouac near Tabernacle Church about midnight. Lee planned to send the 48th Georgia and Anderson's Brigade west to join Mahone's and Posey's Brigade in a blocking position at the Chancellorsville Cross Roads.
The Brigade marched in a drenching storm arriving at Chancellorsville at dawn. Wright and Posey took the Plank Road toward Zion Church. Mahone took the turnpike. The three brigades pulled back four miles the next day to await the approach of the enemy, then reported as advancing in huge numbers by the Ely's Ford and Germana Roads.
The Confederates were positioned along the Old Turnpike and Orange Plank Road . Wright formed a battle line along a range of hills with his right on the Plank Road. The men were exhausted having marched 27 miles in heavy rain and through deep mud in less than 21 hours.
Wright moved the brigade back three quarters of a mile to a ridge upon which a small hospital and old church sat. The left of the brigade was positioned along the Fredericksburg and Gordonsville Railroad with the right on the Plank Road. The rest of the day was spent in the preparation of the lines for the expected battle. Gen. "Stonewall" Jackson arrived on May 1.
About mid morning on May 1st, Jackson took a force to the south along the Plank Road. The Georgians took the point. Slocum was advancing his Federals east toward Jackson. After a mile or so skirmishers of the 3rd Georgia found the front of the Federal advance. The advance continued to within two miles of Chancellorsville where the Federals were in force.
About 3 o'clock Wright and the 48th Georgia took the left as Posey ran into resistance along the road to Catherine Furnance. The Federal forces retreated . Wright then moved to the left to look for Gen. Hooker's Federal flank and rear .
Wright took the road where he found Jeb Stuart's cavalry at Catherine Furnance around six o'clock. Stuart reported the woods to the north toward Chancellorsville were filled with Yankees.
Wright sent the 22nd and 48th Ga. Regiments into the dense woods. Under heavy musket fire, the Georgians forced Williams' Division across a clearing into a grove of pine trees. Fearing a trap the Georgians fell back and sought the assistance of Stuart.
Artillery was finally placed into position after a difficult passage over poor roads. Wright opened fire. The Federal artillery anwsered. Wright decided not to send the 48th Georgia into an overgrown ravine due to the oncoming darkness.
Wright marched by the Furnace Road rejoining the division on the Plank Road about a mile from Chancellorsville. There Wright camped for the night counting 2 killed and 22 wounded.
Early on the morning of the 2nd, Wright formed his brigade to the left of the Plank Road. He remained until there until two o'clock. Wright was then ordered to come to the aid of Posey's Brigade which was being threatened by the Federals.
Wright and Posey attacked Sickles and Graham at Catherine's Furnance in an attempt to protect the rear of Jackson's supply train. The rear of the train was protected by Thomas's Brigade. As Sickles advanced, Thomas and Archer turned back to hold off the Federals. The Federals retreated under heavy artillery fire. Wright pulled his men back to bivouac and eat for the first time in two days.
Wright moved back to the Plank Road by order of Gen. Jackson at 11.p.m.. Wright's Brigade maintained their position during the night in the woods east of Catherine's Furnace along Scott's Run. Once again the losses were slight.
Meanwhile along the Turnpike the long march around the Federals was nearly complete. Gen. Jackson moved ahead of his lines scouting for the Federal positions just after dark . While returning from the Union lines he was shot by elements of the 18th North Carolina. Who mistook him for a Yankee General. Jackson was hit in his arm which he lost by amputation. Jackson was dropped by the stretcher barrers causing damage to his lung and developed phunimonia which eventually led to his death three days later and some say, the death knell of the Confederacy.
A series of attacks and counter attacks raged along the Turnpike early on the morning of the 3rd. Wright brought his brigade from the Plank Road toward the Furnance to support Posey in position about a half mile southwest of Chancellorsville Crossroads.
Wright was assigned to cover the area between Mahone on the right and Posey on the left. The brigade with its 1600 men were stretched over a mile. He put forward a skirmish line to connect with the adjoining brigades.
Wright's men rushed forward to press Geary's Federals from the Fairview clearing. But were held back by what Wright called "the most terrible fire and artillery I had ever witnessed." Wright had to deal with friendly incoming artillery fire for several minutes while having lost sight of Mahone on his right. The terrian was dense and no brigade could find the other.
Wright moved to the left to find Posey as the Federals were swept away. Wright's Georgians , coming from the south, was the first to reach the clearing. Lee rode upon the scene where he found Wright's men celebrating their victory. Lee had never seen men more jubilant.
After the fighting, which lasted until dusk, the Federals were driven out of Chancellorsville. In afternoon Wright's men followed Posey toward the United States Ford where they camped . Wright's brigade did manage to capture the entire 700 men of the 27th Connecticut Regiment in the early afternoon of the 3rd.
The brigade lost 17 killed and 163 wounded, including some of his best officers.
By night fall Hooker pulled all of his Federals back towards Fredericksburg. Lee continued to press the attack sending Anderson's Division to the River Road opposite the Federal left with orders to guard the road and to disrupt enemy communications.
Wright was ordered to move back toward Chancellorsville until he reached the Turnpike Road and down the turnpike to Salem Church. Anderson arrived at Salem Church at 11:00 a.m. and moved into place around noon. An attack was planned upon the signal of three rapidly fired guns. The march took the men through dense woods and shrubbery to the southeast to a point along the unfinished Richmond, Fredericksburg, and Potomac Railroad. At that point they would join with Hoke's Brigade of Early's Division in an effort to seal off a Union escape to the south. Anderson's men were completely exhausted after a solid week of fighting.
Anderson attacked Brook's Federal division with Wright on his left . Wright's men came down a ravine to flank Federal sharpshooters behind the Downman house. Entering a field behind the house they came under cannon fire enfilading their line from the right. Wright kept adavancing, driving the Federals from the field. Wright remained in that position until dark.
Between eight and nine o'clock Wright followed Posey on his left up the Plank Road toward Bank's Ford. After three miles of marching the brigade halted and camped for the night.
The losses that day were considerable with 6 killed and 83 wounded. Lee's plans to attack the retreating Federals on the 4th never fully materialized. The battle ended in a Confederate Victory ,but the death of Stonewall Jackson was a Terriable loss to Lee and his Army. Wright's brigade during the four day battle had 25 men killed and 271 men wounded.
Lee's success at Chancellorsville convinced him that an offensive into Pennsylvania might be successful. His army badly needed suppiles which might be found in Northern territory and again he hoped to remove the fighting from Virginia.
Lee moved his army around the Federal western flank in early June.The stage was set for the turning point of the war.
Using the Western Virginia Mountains to screen their movements, Lees forces moved North .
General Hooker also slowly began to send his army in pursuit of the Confederates.
Lee had detached his Calvary under General Stuart to ride around the Federals keeping only a small detachment to guard the mountain passes. Because of this Lee didn't have a clear idea of the exact location of the Federal Army
On June 27 A.P. Hill arrived in Chambersburg PA. Upon Hearing that a supply of shoes for his ragged troops might be located nearby the army began to move towards a small village called Gettysburg.
The first Confederate units to arrive found a small Federal Calvary unit under command of General John Buford digging in on the ridges around the town. More units ,Both Federal and Confederate ,continued to arrive until each army was almost full strength.
The Federals were positioned along the high ground and hills first held by the Union Calvary
The morning of July second Gen Andersons men were positioned in the left center with Pender to the left and McLaws and Hood to the right. General Lee ordered attacks along the Emmitsburg road.
Heavy Fighting occurred at Little Round Top, the Peach Orchard and Devils Den. Around midday Wright was told to form up the entire division for an attack after noon. Each brigade would lead from the right.
By the middle of the afternoon the 48th was in position on a ridge overlooking Humphrey's Division across the Emmitsburg Road. The ridge, known as Seminary, was named for the Lutheran Seminary situated at its northern end. Wright's men arrived and were positioned at the far western end of the ridge.
Longstreet and Hood attacked at the Devil's Den and Big Round Top at four o'clock. Another attack came at the Wheat Field and Little Round Top an hour later.
Wilcox and Lang's Brigades of Anderson's Division attacked in concert with McLaw's Division at the Peach Orchard at six o'clock.
At six thirty Anderson sent his three remaining brigades, Wright, Mahone, and Posey, to attack the center of Cemetery Ridge. Wright's men were deployed from left to right as follows: 48th Georgia, 3rd Georgia, and 22nd Georgia. The 2nd Georgia was deployed in front as skirmishers. A few hundred yards away on the farm of William and Adelina Bliss four New Jersey companies were holding the farm buildings.
Wright's Brigade with its 1600 Georgians began the attack about six-forty-five in a quick step march across a mile-wide open field toward a small dip in the terrain. The advance went smoothly until the men came within musket range of the Emmitsburg Road. There they encountered a strong body of infantry behind a fence near and parallel to the road. The skirmishers from the Second Georgia were preparing the way. As they passed north of the Cordori house they came under Union artillery fire. The battle line moved rapidly toward the ridge. Wright later recalled "We were in a hot place, and looking to my left through the smoke, I perceived that neither Posey nor Mahone had advanced and that my left was totally unprotected."
Wright sent a courier to Gen. Anderson, who replied "both Posey and Mahone had been ordered in and that he would reiterate the order." As Wright passed the Bliss' yard only a portion of Posey's men were in support of his attack. There was a brief and furious fight at the Emmitsburg Road. Wright's right wing passed the Cordori House with little resistance. With half of their men down and both of their flanks turned, Gibbon's men pulled back toward Cemetery Ridge.
The attack was directed toward a battery between a small clump of trees and Ziegler's Grove on the ridge to north.
Wright's brigade would fit in between the trees and the grove. The six cannon of Brown's Rhode Island Battery pounded Wright with case shot and then canisters. Wright's Brigade paused, closed their ranks, and moved forward.
The Federals were pushed from their second line of defense behind a stone wall some one hundred yards or more from the road.
That wall would come to be known as the high water mark of the Confederacy.
The Battery moved further up the hill under pressure from Posey's 19th Mississippi. The 48th attacked Gibbon's lines in hand to hand fighting. With well directed fire Wright's men drove the cannoneers from their guns. As Wright's men captured the Napoleons of the Rhode Island Battery they were pelted with canister and small arms fire from the ridge, one hundred yards away.
The Georgia Brigades crossed the fence and rushed up the ridge reaching the crest as the Federals fell back.
As the Confederate Flag was planted on the ridge Wright's men were jubilant. The point where they stood would be the objective of Lee's attack next day. Wright again requested support. Wilcox and Lang had been forced from the field to the south, Posey was stuck in the field to the north. And Mahone would not budge his brigade from Seminary Ridge - despite the repeated urging of Gen. Anderson.
Under cover of rocks and woods the Federals counterattacked. Wright was underfire by the 69th Pennsylvania in the front and suffered three effective volleys upon his unprotected flanks by the 106th Pennsylvania and the 13th Vermont.
Wright in his report of the action said "We were now in a critical condition. The enemy's converging line was rapidly closing upon our rear. A few more moments and we would be completely surrounded. Still no support could be seen coming to our assistance, and with painful hearts we abandoned our captured guns, faced about and prepared to cut our way through the closing lines in our rear. This was affected in tolerable order but with immense loss."
The Federals launched a savage bayonet charge on the Georgians. The Federals rushed back to the abandoned guns and poured a severe fire of grape and cannister shot into the thinned CSA ranks. Wright's men reformed along a fence line firing one volley. Wright had lost half the brigade on the ridge.
They continued to retreat under heavy fire from Cemetery Ridge. The 48th reformed and fired a second volley. The 106th Pennsylvania, , caught up with the 48th Georgia just before the Emmitsburg Road. Col. William Gibson and nearly six dozen of his men were captured. The Pennsylvanians halted and did not pursue the remaining men into the woods. About seven-thirty Gen. Webb recalled his men from the road.
The 48th Georgia's advance was the closest Lee's men came to breaking the Federal center at Gettysburg.
Wright maintained " I have not the slightest doubt that I should have been able to maintain my position on the heights, and secure the artillery, if there had been a protecting force on my left, or if the brigade on my right had not been forced to retire.
Wright's men captured twenty artillery pieces, with the 48th capturing four of those.
The 48th suffered the heaviest losses. Being on the extreme left they were exposed to heavy direct and enfilade fire.
The regiment suffered the loss of 54 killed, 65 wounded, 38 wounded and captured, 43 captured, and 4 deserted.
Col. William Gibson was wounded and left on the field. Five of six captains were lost. Eleven lieutenants out of seventeen were lost. The regimental colors were shot down seven times. The heaviest losses, sixteen percent, were suffered by the Battle Ground Guards. Losses were also heaviest among the Jefferson Volunteers (Co. E), the Wilson Tigers (Co. I), and the Hamilton Rangers (Co. K).
The 48th was pulled back to the head waters of Piteers Creek near its original battle line. Longstreet placed the decimated brigade in the rear as a reserve for Pickett's Brigade.
On July 3rd Lee again attacked the Federal center on Cemetary Ridge, reasoning that if Wrights Brigade had taken it without support ,several divisions would be able to hold the position. Picketts Brigade was to lead the attack.
Forty Seven Regiments were lined up for the attack. The survival of the Confederacy was at hand.
Pickett's men were slaughtered in the open field and upon the ridge ,as Lee watched in horror, as only a few gained the crest before being driven back.
Most of the men left in Wright's brigade were ready to go back to the ridge. Longstreet convinced Anderson that another attack would be a waste of life.
Wright's Brigade was brought up in the late afternoon to cover the retreat. The brigade was sent to reinforce Wilcox in the event of a Federal counterattack. At dark Wright moved back to his original position.
As the day ended Lee began making plans to pull his battered army southward and home to Virginia.The losses in Pennsylvania could not be replaced and news soon reached the East of another Federal Victory in the West which cost the Confederates control of the Mississippi. It was the beginning of the end for Lee and his army.
Muster Roll of CO K
History of the 48th (Seven Days to Fredricksburg)
History of the 48th (Chancellorsville and Gettysburg)
History of the 48th (to Appomattox)
Civil War research links.
The Malone ,Crawford, Street page