Diary of Elon Francis Brown of the 2nd Wisconsin at Chancellorsville



        All seemed unwilling to lay the blame on Hooker and the defeat was accounted for in many ways. Many charged Sedgwick with having disobeyed orders, but the greet part of the cause was charged on the 11th Corps which had broke on Saturday (the 2nd) and thus caused our lines to be withdrawn a long distance; on that account the 11th Corps was made the subject of every indignity and wherever a man was seen bearing its badge he we taunted with reproaches and epithets; such as "coward!", "Flying Dutchman!" No. I could not help feeling ashamed of our army for thus abusing a portion of its own body; a portion too, that had displayed great bravery and fortitude when led by the energetic, liberty, loving Fremont, and the dashing Sigel. There is no denying that the flight of the 11th Corps at Chancellorsville was disgraceful in the extreme, but the circumstances were such as but few have the nerve to withstand. There is no doubt but in the same circumstances any other corps would have done the same thing. But suppose their conduct was cowardly as a body, there were still hundreds of brave men among there and it was very unjust to condemn all without exceptions. The 26th Wis. Vol., a German regiment attached to that corps, passed us this afternoon and though they are reported to have done as well as any other in the Corps, and lost nearly 200 men, they were jeered by our brigade in a most disgraceful manner. The 26th was a new regt. this was their first engagement. The probability is that if that corps had fought as it ought to have done it would have lost less and serve a great deal to our cause.

Wisconsin Historical Society, Micro 512 P82-2498 pg 53 - 54