2nd Manassas - Aug. 1862
The Battle of Chancellorsville - Saturday, May 2, 1863
Stonewall Jackson's Flank March & the Catherine Furnace

The Catherine Furnace at Chancellorsville
Visible here are the ruins of the Catherine Furnace which the Confederates had used until 1864 to aid in the manufacture of much needed weaponry. The previous evening, General's Lee and Jackson had decided upon a daring plan, a gamble that Jackson could take the majority of Lee's present forces, slip away from their current lines, and move unseen to the Union right flank. To bring success, Jackson would need to do so without the Federals attacking and crushing the much smaller Southern force which remained with General Lee to confront or distract the main Union lines.

On May 2, 1863, Lieutenant General Jackson's Corps began their flank march, moving past what at the time was both a functioning iron works and the left anchor of the small, southern line. The butternuts would twice turn south away from the main Union army feigning retreat in order to deceive Federal scouts who, despite southern efforts, observed their movements. Jackson ordered the 23rd Georgia to "guard the flank of the column in motion against a surprise, and call, if necessary, upon any officer whose command was passing for reinforcements." Despite an attack by Union Brigadier General David Birney, the column proceeded on their march past this furnace, led by the son of Charles Wellford, the furnace's owner. The lines marched four men wide and wound its way through the woods nearly ten miles long. Their objective was the unsuspecting, unprotected Union Eleventh Corp, the far right of the Union army.

Union Cavalry led by General George Armstrong Custer destroyed the furnace in 1864.

Please click here to visit a page within this site concerning the Hopewell Iron Furnace and how these furnaces functioned.