battle of chancellorsville

Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the U.S. Confederate States presidential election of 1861,, Battles of the Eastern Theater of the American Civil War, Confederate victories of the American Civil War, Spotsylvania County in the American Civil War, Battles of the American Civil War in Virginia, Conflict sites on the National Register of Historic Places in Virginia, American Civil War on the National Register of Historic Places, National Battlefields and Military Parks of the United States, Articles using NRISref without a reference number, Short description is different from Wikidata, Wikipedia articles incorporating a citation from The American Cyclopaedia, Wikipedia articles incorporating a citation from The American Cyclopaedia with a Wikisource reference, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, Cullen, Joseph P. "Battle of Chancellorsville." 17–18; Welcher, p. 659; Sears, pp. 136–46; Salmon, pp. Goolrick, p. 158: In the council of war, Meade, Reynolds, and Howard voted to fight. "Stonewall" Jackson. By the morning of May 3, the Union line resembled a horseshoe. Hebert, pp. But while he concentrated the cavalry into a single organization, he dispersed his artillery battalions to the control of the infantry division commanders, removing the coordinating influence of the army's artillery chief, Brig. 35–36; Gallagher, pp. Stuart to take command, notifying Lee after the fact. Hooker and the artillery crossed first, followed by the infantry beginning at 6 a.m. on May 6. Subscribe for fascinating stories connecting the past to the present. One long unbroken cheer, in which the feeble cry of those who lay helpless on the earth blended with the strong voices of those who still fought, rose high above the roar of battle and hailed the presence of a victorious chief. Like everyone else in the Union army, the III Corps had been unaware of Jackson's attack. [76], Meanwhile, down at Hazel Grove, the 8th Pennsylvania Cavalry were relaxing and awaiting orders to chase after Confederate wagon trains, also oblivious to the collapse of the XI Corps. [78], Jackson's force was now separated from Lee's men only by Sickles's corps, which had been separated from the main body of the army after its foray attacking Jackson's column earlier in the afternoon. The attack formation consisted of two lines—the divisions of Brig. Fremont had refused to serve under Pope and was replaced by Maj. Gen Franz Sigel, an inept political general who, however, was much beloved by his German troops. "[115], The Union was shocked by the defeat. Fought in Spotsylvania County, Virginia, Lee’s daring decision to face a force twice his size—Union General Joseph Hooker’s Army of the Potomac—by splitting his own army in two made the Battle of Chancellorsville go down in history as Lee’s most significant tactical victory. Lee then undertook a second invasion of the North. Lee's presence was the signal for one of those uncontrollable bursts of enthusiasm which none can appreciate who has not witnessed them. Early was able to organize an effective fighting retreat. Hooker's second action was to send orders to Sedgwick - "attack the enemy in his front" at Fredericksburg if "an opportunity presents itself with a reasonable expectation of success" - and Sickles - "advance cautiously toward the road followed by the enemy, and harass the movement as much as possible". They crossed the Rappahannock and Rapidan rivers as planned and began to concentrate on April 30 around the hamlet of Chancellorsville, which was little more than a single large, brick mansion at the junction of the Orange Turnpike and Orange Plank Road. When the supply of wood was exhausted, the furnaces were abandoned and secondary forest growth developed, creating a dense mass of brambles, thickets, vines, and low-lying vegetation. Of 130,000 Union soldiers engaged at Chancellorsville, more than 17,000 were casualties (some 7,500 were killed or reported missing); of 60,000 Confederates, more than 12,000 were casualties (more than 3,500 were killed or reported missing). In fact, both Reynolds and Sedgwick were still west of the Rappahannock, south of the town. Only two-thirds of Jackson's marching column participated in the assault. Col. Lee would later write sarcastically, "A rifle pit is useless when the enemy is on the same side and in rear of your line." Sedgwick did not take action from the discretionary orders. On May 3, 1863, a still-reeling Hooker found himself fending off attacks from General Lee himself. 24, 61, 63. Gen. Edmund Kirby. as the mob ran to and past the Chancellor mansion. Krick, p. 41; Sears, pp. Hooker, who began the campaign believing he had "80 chances in 100 to be successful", lost the battle through miscommunication, the incompetence of some of his leading generals (most notably Howard and Stoneman, but also Sedgwick), but mostly through the collapse of his own confidence. "use strict";(function(){var insertion=document.getElementById("citation-access-date");var date=new Date().toLocaleDateString(undefined,{month:"long",day:"numeric",year:"numeric"});insertion.parentElement.replaceChild(document.createTextNode(date),insertion)})(); FACT CHECK: We strive for accuracy and fairness. Jackson himself met with Anderson near Zoan Church at 8 a.m., finding that McLaws's division had already arrived to join the defensive position. Lee's Chancellorsville consisted of a pastiche of unbelievably risky gambits that led to a great triumph. Gen. Jubal Early to "watch the enemy and try to hold him." Hooker's army was much better supplied and was well-rested after several months of inactivity. On the night of May 2, in the aftermath of Jackson's flank attack, Hooker had ordered Sedgwick to "cross the Rappahannock at Fredericksburg on the receipt of this order, and at once take up your line of march on the Chancellorsville road until you connect with him. [95], John Sedgwick's road to Chancellorsville was open, but he wasted time in gathering his troops and forming a marching column. 681–82; Cullen, p. 44. Crossing the Rapidan River via Germanna and Ely's Fords, the Federal infantry concentrated near Chancellorsville on April 30. In 1927, the rebuilt house was destroyed by fire. Gen. Cadmus M. Wilcox. The Union general organized a counterattack that recovered the lost ground. 273–88; Welcher, p. 681; Sears, pp. The treatment of the battle in both the novel and the movie focuses on Jackson's assault on the Union right flank, his wounding, and his subsequent death. Despite the objections of his subordinates, Hooker withdrew his men to the defensive lines around Chancellorsville, ceding the initiative to Lee. Two related battles were fought nearby on May 3 in the vicinity of Fredericksburg. Goolrick, William K., and the Editors of Time-Life Books. The two halves of Lee's army at Chancellorsville were separated by Sickles's III Corps, which occupied a strong position on high ground at Hazel Grove. 178–79; Cullen, pp. On May 2, Lee divided his army again, sending Stonewall Jackson's entire corps on a flanking march that routed the Union XI Corps. Hill's division turned back from the flanking march and prevented any further damage to Jackson's column, which by now had left the area. Meade exclaimed, "My God, if we can't hold the top of the hill, we certainly can't hold the bottom of it!" Sears, pp. The body of the message reads, “The enemy has made a stand at Chancellor's which is about 2 miles from Chancellorsville. 182–83; Krick, p. 199. Sickles and Couch voted to withdraw; Couch actually favored attack, but lacked confidence in Hooker's leadership. Jackson was delighted to see that Howard's men were resting, unaware of the impending Confederate threat. Gen. Ambrose Wright up an unfinished railroad south of the Plank Road, around the right flank of Slocum's corps. Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park, Eastern Theater of the American Civil War, U.S. National Register of Historic Places, Troop engagements of the American Civil War, 1863, List of costliest American Civil War land battles,, "7 Groups Form Coalition to Save Chancellorsville", The Civil War News, 2002, "Soft Touch at Town of Chancellorsville Vigil Pays Off", Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star, January 22, 2003, "Spotsy board vote brings cheers", Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star, November 15, 2006, The Chancellorsville Campaign, January–May 1863, United States Army Center of Military History, The Brothers War: The Battle of Chancellorsville, Animated Powerpoint slide presentation of campaign, Animated history of the Battle of Chancellorsville, C-SPAN American History TV Tour of Jackson's Flank Attack at Chancellorsville, History of the National Register of Historic Places, Second Corps of the Army of Northern Virginia, List of Union Civil War monuments and memorials, List of memorials to the Grand Army of the Republic, List of Confederate monuments and memorials, Removal of Confederate monuments and memorials. [46], Jackson's men began marching west to join with Anderson before dawn on May 1. Early on May 3, Hooker ordered Sickles to move from Hazel Grove to a new position on the Plank Road. At Hazel Grove, in short, the finest artillerists of the Army of Northern Virginia were having their greatest day. Message to General Robert E. Lee from Stonewall Jackson, May 2, 1863, during the Battle of Chancellorsville, Virginia. Gen. Robert E. Rodes, the next most senior general in the corps, and Rodes acquiesced in Hill's decision to summon Maj. Gen. J.E.B. [68], Significant contributions to the impending Union disaster were the nature of the Union XI Corps and the incompetent performance of its commander, Maj. Gen. Oliver O. Howard. 130–32, wrote "With mass, position, and momentum on his side, after one of the most successful opening moves in American military history, Hooker bowed and handed the initiative to Lee. 9–10; Eicher, p. 474; Cullen, pp. Most of Early's combat strength was deployed to the south of town, where Federal troops had achieved their most significant successes during the December battle. ... At no other time between. The Battle of Chancellorsville was a major battle of the American Civil War (1861–1865), and the principal engagement of the Chancellorsville campaign. Lee, too, divided his force, retaining 10,000 troops led by Jubal Early to hold Fredericksburg before marching the rest of his army West to meet Hooker head-on. Throughout the day on May 4, Hooker provided no assistance or useful guidance to Sedgwick, and Sedgwick thought about little else than protecting his line of retreat. [116], President Lincoln chose to retain Hooker in command of the army, but the friction between Lincoln, general in chief Henry W. Halleck, and Hooker became intolerable in the early days of the Gettysburg campaign and Lincoln relieved Hooker of command on June 28, just before the Battle of Gettysburg. The secession of the Southern states (in chronological order, South Carolina, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana,…. [114], Lincoln later told Connecticut Representative Deming that he believed the war could have been terminated at Chancellorsville had Hooker managed the battle better: specifically, "when Hooker failed to reinforce Sedgwick, after hearing his cannon...." However, he added, "I do not know that I could have given any different orders had I been with them myself. [81], Despite the fame of Stonewall Jackson's victory on May 2, it did not result in a significant military advantage for the Army of Northern Virginia. Hooker jumped onto his horse and frantically tried to take action. Hebert, pp. "[97], The fighting on May 3, 1863, was some of the most furious anywhere in the civil war. Lee ordered McLaws to engage from the west "to prevent [the enemy] concentrating on General Early. As the day wore on, the men of the XI Corps became increasingly aware that something was going on in the woods to the west of them, but were unable to get any higher-ups to pay attention.

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