Virtual Tour Stonewall Jackson's Flank March
"Stonewall" Jackson's flank march began where Lee and Jackson had planned the march the night before, tour stop #5 on the driving tour of the battlefield. On the morning of May 2, Lee and Jackson met for the last time. As Jackson disappeared down the road, Lee never saw Jackson again.
Jackson's men quickly passed the site of where Matthew Fontaine Maury, the Father of oceanography, was born. (See the virtual tour stop for Maury's Birthplace for more information and photos.)
Soon afterwards they reached the spot shown in the photo where they were seen by Union soldiers on high ground called Hazel Grove. Hooker quickly received word that Confederate soldiers were observed moving in a southwesterly direction. Rather than send out a reconnaissance party to determine the Confederate destination and purpose, Hooker jumped to the conclusion that the Southerners were trying to outflank him.
Jackson's command turned left at this point passing Catharine Furnace, see virtual tour of the furnace of more information and photos. Almost six hours after Hooker learned of the Confederate march, he sent a reconnaissance in force toward the furnace. Jackson detailed the 23rd Georgia to hold back the Union party until the rear of Jackson's column passed this point. The reconnaissance force neither substantially hindered Jackson's march, not did it obtain any useful information. It did, however, pull Daniel Sickles Third Corps and Barlow's Brigade of Oliver Howard's Eleventh Corps toward the furnace leaving Howard's command vulnerable - a situation that Jackson would exploit.
Upon reaching the Brock Road, Jackson's column turned left to deceive any Union observers as to his destination. After traveling about 1/4 mile, Jackson's men turned right on what is now called Jackson Trail West.
Jackson Trail is maintained as a gravel road to give visitors a sense of the 19th century roads that Jackson followed. It is wider than the 1863 road which allowed for Jackson's men to march four across. Travelers on the road today ford a small stream, shown in this photo, which can be fairly deep during heavy rains.
Jackson's men eventually reached the Orange Turnpike (today Route 3) where they turned right (east) and lined up to attack. Today Route 3 is a four lane divided highway. To reach the Jackson Flank Attack Tour Stop, visitors traveling the flank march need to cross over at the Wilderness Church and head west a couple hundred yards to the tour stop.
Continue to the next virtual tour stop, Jackson's Flank Attack.