W. F. RANDOLPH
Though the Confederates had managed to win a great victory at Chancellorsville, the seeds of defeat were sown when Stonewall Jackson was mortally wounded when he was accidentally fired upon by some of his own men while reconnoitering the battlefield on the evening of 2 May 1863. Historians still ponder what effect Jackson's presence at Gettysburg might have had on that battle and the entire war. Jackson died from his wound on 10 May. A member of Jackson's bodyguard, Captain W E Randolph was present at Jackson's fatal shooting. His account originally appeared in the Greeneville News Times and later in the Southern Society Historical Papers.
It is not the purpose of the writer of this article to give a detailed account of the memorable battle of Chancellorsville, which has been so often described by pens more felicitous than mine, but only to give some few incidents of the first two days leading up to the terrible catastrophe, which was the closing scene of one of the most brilliant and successful movements in the history of any war.
The writer was, during these two days, attached to the person of General Jackson, and only left his side occasionally as the bearer of orders to his division commanders.
During the winter of '62 and '63, the Army of Northern Virginia was encamped near and around Fredericksburg, and the writer was in command of a company of cavalry and attached to the headquarters of General Stonewall Jackson, then located near Hamilton's Crossing, about three miles below the town.
The battle of Fredericksburg, which took place the 13th of December, resulted in the defeat of Burnside, and his retreat across the river ended all active operations for the winter. So we settled down in quiet observation, awaiting with anxious expectation the advance of General Hooker,