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When Sue Chancellor wrote about the Battle of Chancellorsville in May 1863, it resonated with a soldier's brother in California. By Mac Wyckoff
Lt. William B. Hutton is buried in Spotsylvania Confederate Cemetery.
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Hutton was absent on sick leave during the Second Manassas and Maryland campaigns, but returned for the Battle of Fredericksburg. His unit held the extreme right end of the Confederate line at Prospect Hill. In a letter home he called this battle "the prettiest" he had seen.
On Jan. 22, 1863, Hutton was promoted to junior second lieutenant. The next battle would be Hutton's last. His unit, part of Gen. James Archer's Brigade, made the long and famous flank march with Stonewall Jackson on May 2. The key ground the next day became a relatively high plateau known as Hazel Grove.
Just before sunrise, the Union forces made a major mistake by withdrawing from this important spot. Archer's Brigade quickly occupied the plateau, and the bloodiest fighting during the entire campaign raged for several hours between Hazel Grove and the Chancellor House, a mile away.
The 5th Alabama Battalion suffered 36 casualties out of approximately 150 engaged. A memoir by a member of the 5th Alabama mentions by name one man who died in this battle: Lt. William B. Hutton. The memoir states that Hutton was "a brave useful officer and his place was a difficult one to fill."
In 1866, George Chancellor (Sue Chancellor's cousin and brother-in-law) located and moved Hutton's body to Spotsylvania Confederate Cemetery. A Miss French of the Spotsylvania Ladies Memorial Association marked the grave in the cemetery.
A.H. Hutton followed his older brother to the University of Virginia. After graduation ceremonies, Hutton traveled by train to Fredericksburg and stayed in the home of Miss French's niece on July 3, 1868. The next day, Hutton and a former Confederate soldier he met on the train went to the cemetery, where they placed a tombstone at the grave site.