A patrol of Jackson's troops was driven back by Union gunners, a minor incident that would come to be exaggerated into a heroic repulse of Jackson's entire command. The Confederate would make superb use of the opportunity. Early was able to organize an effective fighting retreat. Lee turned back to confront Hooker who withdrew the remainder of his army across U.S. Ford the night of May 5â6. 489; Cullen, pp. Battle of Chancellorsville, (April 30âMay 5, 1863), in the American Civil War, bloody assault by the Union army in Virginia that failed to encircle and destroy the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia. , By this time Sedgwick had placed his divisions into a strong defensive position with its flanks anchored on the Rappahannock, three sides of a rectangle extending south of the Plank Road. The Chancellorsville campaign began when Hooker secretly moved the bulk of his army up the left bank of the Rappahannock River, then crossed it on the morning of April 27, 1863. Stonewall Jackson came up with a plan to send Lee around to attack the left flank with only 12,000 troops. Hazel Grove was soon turned into a powerful artillery platform with 30 guns under Col. Porter Alexander. On the left were the remnants of the XI Corps, and the right was held by the V and I Corps. In. Battle of Chancellorsville The Battle of Chancellorsville was a significant battle in the American Civil War. Krick, pp. 16â17; Krick, 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. , For nearly a year, the Coalition mobilized local citizens, held candlelight vigils and hearings, and encouraged residents to become more involved in preservation. "; Salmon, p. 173: "more than 133,000 ... about 60,000." As the sun started to go down, all remained quiet on the XI Corps's front, the noises of the III and XII Corps engaging Lee's rear guard coming from off in the distance. He left behind a brigade under Brig. Hooker was forced to create a new plan for a meeting with Lincoln, Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton, and general in chief Henry W. Halleck in Aquia on April 19. 319â20; Welcher, p. 677. Beginning his turning movement on April 27, 1863, Hooker masterfully swung around toward the west of the Confederate army. Immediately following the vote, the Civil War Trust and other Coalition members began working to acquire the battlefield. A third Union attack was successful in overrunning the Confederate position. But Stonewall Jackson was not in a defensive mood. Two days later he sent a diversionary force consisting of two corpsâroughly 30,000 men under the command of Gen. John Sedgwickâacross the Rappahannock below Fredericksburg and crossed upriver with the main body of his army. 196â206, 213â16; Krick, pp. The loss of this artillery platform doomed the Union position at the Chancellorsville crossroads as well, and the Army of the Potomac began a fighting retreat to positions circling United States Ford. 11â15, 88â112, 118â21, 144â49. 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. Much of the battlefield has been preserved. The Chancellor family, whose house was destroyed during the battle, placed the entire 854-acre property for sale four months after the battle. Stuart arrived with an intelligence report from his subordinate, Brig. At the same time, the South lost one of its greatest strategic minds with the death of Stonewall Jackson. The battle was fought from April 30, 1863 until May 6, 1863. By working with county officials and developers, the Trust acquired 140 acres in 2004 and another 74 acres in 2006. , The battle serves as the background for one of F. Scott Fitzgerald's short stories, published in the February 1935 Esquire Magazine, entitled "The Night at Chancellorsville.". They had improved guns, better ammunition and superior organization. ... Hooker answered frankly ... 'Doubleday ... For once I lost confidence in Hooker'.". , 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. , At 7 a.m. on May 3, Early was confronted with four Union divisions: Brig. Burnside's former command, the IX Corps, was transferred to the Virginia Peninsula, a movement that prompted the Confederates to detach troops from Lee's army under Lt. Gen. James Longstreet, a decision that would be consequential in the upcoming campaign. Furgurson, pp. President Abraham Lincoln was quoted as saying, "My God! Gen. Stonewall Jackson's attack at the Battle of Chancellorsville, Virginia, May 2, 1863; colour lithograph. Tidball, John C. The Artillery Service in the War of the Rebellion, 1861â1865. Thus far he had outmaneuvered Lee, but Hooker was astonished on May 1 when the Confederate commander left a small part of his force inâ¦, â¦to outflank Leeâs position at Chancellorsville, Virginia, but was completely outmaneuvered (May 1â5) and forced to retreat. 10â11; Welcher, p. 659; Sears, pp. Our editors will review what youâve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. 136–46; Salmon, pp. Salmon, p. 177; Welcher, p. 663; Gallagher, pp. The Confederate victory in the face of a larger force was considered one of Robert E. Lee’s savviest moments, and Stonewall Jackson also distinguished himself, though he was fatally wounded in the battle. The Union general organized a counterattack that recovered the lost ground. Gen Charles Devens' division, went to Howard's headquarters warning him that an all-out enemy assault was imminent, but Howard insisted that it was impossible for the Confederates to get through the dense woods. Fredericksburg. 485â86. 312â14, 316â20; Salmon, pp. That same day, Sedgwick advanced across the Rappahannock River, defeated the small Confederate force at Marye's Heights in the Second Battle of Fredericksburg, and then moved to the west. Battle of Chancellorsville, depicting the wounding of Confederate Lt. Gen. Stonewall Jackson on May 2, 1863) Late on May 6, when Lee was able to finally organize his army to attack the other Union position – under Hooker in Chancellorsville – they found only empty trenches. He confused matters by issuing a second order to his subordinates to hold their positions until 5 p.m., but by the time it was received, most of the Union units had begun their rearward movements. , On the evening of May 3 and all day May 4, Hooker remained in his defenses north of Chancellorsville. The Battle of Chancellorsville was a major Civil War battle that took place near the small town of Chancellorsville, Virginia. Although clearly incapacitated after he arose, Hooker refused to turn over command temporarily to his second-in-command, Maj. Gen. Darius N. Couch, and, with Hooker's chief of staff, Maj. Gen. Daniel Butterfield, and Sedgwick out of communication (again due to the failure of the telegraph lines), there was no one at headquarters with sufficient rank or stature to convince Hooker otherwise. , With Burnside's departure, Maj. Gen. William B. Franklin left as well. 84â86; Salmon, p. 179; Cullen, p. 34; Sears, pp. On the 4th Lee turned his back on Hooker and attacked Sedgwick, and drove him back to Banks' Ford, surrounding them on three sides. This page was last edited on 29 November 2020, at 02:44. Salmon, p. 183; Sears, pp. Hill. The center was held by the III, XII, and II Corps. The, 133,868 Union troops and 60,892 Confederate troops according to Bigelow, pp. Gens. , Fremont's army became part of Maj. Gen John Pope's Army of Virginia in the summer. 1st Battle of Bull Run. 132â136 and Eicher, p. 475; Furgurson, p. 88, Kennedy, p. 197: "about 130,000 to 60,000. I hope as soon as practicable to attack. , After Hooker took command, Sigel was the ranking general behind him. , As a result of these efforts, in March 2003 the Spotsylvania County Board of Supervisors denied the rezoning application that would have allowed for the development of the site. 15â16. , John Sedgwick's road to Chancellorsville was open, but he wasted time in gathering his troops and forming a marching column. 281, 287, 289â91, 300â302, 488; Welcher, p. 673; Eicher, p. 483; Salmon, p. 180; Krick, pp. If he was attacked in "overwhelming numbers," Early was to retreat to Richmond, but if Sedgwick withdrew from his front, he was to join with Lee at Chancellorsville. Goolrick, 140â42; Esposito, text for map 88; Sears, pp. Lee directed Jackson to make the flanking march, a maneuver similar to the one that had been so successful prior to the Second Battle of Bull Run (Second Manassas). Gen. John Gibbon of the II Corps had crossed the Rappahannock north of town, and three divisions of Sedgwick's VI CorpsâMaj. 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. , The Confederate dispositions were as follows: the Rappahannock line at Fredericksburg was occupied by Longstreet's First Corps division of Lafayette McLaws on Marye's Heights, with Jackson's entire Second Corps to their right. Their first clue to the impending onslaught was the observation of numerous animals, such as rabbits and foxes, fleeing in their direction out of the western woods. The new assignments for the latter two generals caused some command difficulties in the upcoming Gettysburg campaign, which began in June. Hooker expressed his disappointment in Sedgwick: "my object in ordering General Sedgwick forward ... Was to relieve me from the position in which I found myself at Chancellorsville. 182â83; Krick, p. 199. In the Eastern Theater of the American Civil War, the objective of the Union had been to advance and seize the Confederate capital, Richmond, Virginia. An account by Hotchkiss recalls that Lee asked Jackson how many men he would take on the flanking march and Jackson replied, "my whole command. The Battle of Chancellorsville was a battle during the American Civil War that lasted from April 30 to May 6, 1863. The fierce soldiers, with their faces blackened with the smoke of battle, the wounded crawling with feeble limbs from the fury of the devouring flames, all seemed possessed with a common impulse. Sickles and Couch voted to withdraw; Couch actually favored attack, but lacked confidence in Hooker's leadership. If the Federal troops were still in position on May 2, Lee would attack them. With only 60,000 men engaged, he suffered 13,303 casualties (1,665 killed, 9,081 wounded, 2,018 missing), losing some 22% of his force in the campaignâmen that the Confederacy, with its limited manpower, could not replace. Built in the early 19th century, it had been used as an inn on the turnpike for many years, but now served as a home for the Frances Chancellor family. The Battle of Chancellorsville was a major battle of the American Civil War (1861â1865), and the principal engagement of the Chancellorsville campaign. The survey also found that 90 percent of local residents believed their county has a responsibility to protect Chancellorsville and other historic resources. ", Hooker's army faced Lee across the Rappahannock from its winter quarters in Falmouth and around Fredericksburg. 35â36; Gallagher, pp. , At about the same time, Hooker ordered his men to advance on three roads to the east: two divisions of Meade's V Corps (Griffin and Humphreys) on the River Road to uncover Banks's Ford, and the remaining division (Sykes) on the Turnpike; and Slocum's XII Corps on the Plank Road, with Howard's XI Corps in close support. Hill. The attackers were almost as disorganized as the routed defenders. McLaws's division was ordered from Fredericksburg to join Anderson. 39; Salmon, pp. He was reassigned to a command in Missouri, but died before he could assume it. Gen. Jubal Early to "watch the enemy and try to hold him." 94â95. One of the consequences of Chancellorsville at Gettysburg was the conduct of Daniel Sickles, who undoubtedly recalled the terrible consequences of withdrawing from Hazel Grove when he decided to ignore the commands of his general and moved his lines on the second day of battle to ensure that a minor piece of high ground, the Peach Orchard, was not available to the enemy's artillery. The Union lost 1,694 killed, 9,672 wounded and 5,938 missing; about 17,300 total. Sears, pp. Howard's XI Corps had been defeated, but the Army of the Potomac remained a potent force and Reynolds's I Corps had arrived overnight, which replaced Howard's losses. What was the first major battle of the Civil War? , Couch was in command on the south bank after Hooker departed, but he was left with explicit orders not to continue the battle, which he had been tempted to do. With the fire of battle shining through his spectacles. On the morning of May 2, Early received a garbled message from Lee's staff that caused him to start marching most of his men toward Chancellorsville, but he quickly returned after a warning from Brig. Before noon, Lee arrived with Anderson's division, giving him a total of 21,000 men, slightly outnumbering Sedgwick. He wrote in 1876 that Howard was "a hypocrite ... totally incompetent ... a perfect old woman ... a bad man." Combined with the Union force facing Fredericksburg, Hooker planned a double envelopment, attacking Lee from both his front and rear. , Lee, despite being outnumbered by a ratio of over two to one, won arguably his greatest victory of the war, sometimes described as his "perfect battle. Devens's division collapsed in a matter of minutes, slammed on three sides by almost 30,000 Confederates. Crossing the Rapidan River via Germanna and Ely's Fords, the Federal infantry concentrated near Chancellorsville on April 30. After a miserable trek across Virginia in which Blenker's troops were provisioned inadequately and suffered from widespread hunger, disease, and desertion, they joined with Fremont in a campaign that resulted in them being soundly defeated by Stonewall Jackson. The Union lost three generals in the campaign: Maj. Gens. Chancellorsville is known as Lee's "perfect battle" because his risky decision to divide his army in the presence of a much larger enemy force resulted in a significant Confederate victory. The battle is remembered for the mortal injury to Stonewall Jackson and the great strategic victory for Confederate General Robert E. Lee. Salmon, pp. This article was most recently revised and updated by, https://www.britannica.com/event/Battle-of-Chancellorsville, National Park Service - Battle of Chancellorsville History, Encyclopedia Virginia - Chancellorsville Campaign. Sears, pp. When later asked why he had ordered a halt to his advance on May 1, Hooker is reputed to have responded, "For the first time, I lost faith in Hooker. Gen. William Barksdale of a Union advance against Fredericksburg. In reality, he had no power to dismiss anyone without the approval of Congress. Lincoln tried a fifth time with a new general on January 25, 1863âMaj. , As Lee was savoring his victory at the Chancellorsville crossroads, he received disturbing news: Maj. Gen. John Sedgwick's force had broken through the Confederate lines at Fredericksburg and was headed toward Chancellorsville. Jackson's men began marching west to join with Anderson before dawn on May 1. Updates? , Pleased with the success of the operation so far, and realizing that the Confederates were not vigorously opposing the river crossings, Hooker ordered Sickles to begin the movement of the III Corps from Falmouth the night of April 30 â May 1. Chancellorsville is known as Lee's "perfect battle" because his risky decision to divide his army in the presence of a much larger enemy force resulted in a significant Confederate victory. The retrograde movement had prepared me for something of the kind, but to hear from [Hooker's] own lips that the advantages gained by the successful marches of his lieutenants were to culminate in fighting a defensive battle in that nest of thickets was too much, and I retired from his presence with the belief that my commanding general was a whipped man. He consulted with Brig. The victory, a product of Lee's audacity and Hooker's timid decision-making, was tempered by heavy casualties, including Lt. Gen. Thomas J. The fiercest fighting of the battleâand the second bloodiest day of the Civil Warâoccurred on May 3 as Lee launched multiple attacks against the Union position at Chancellorsville, resulting in heavy losses on both sides and the pulling back of Hooker's main army. 68â70, 100â102; Fishel, pp. , In January 1863, the Army of the Potomac, following the Battle of Fredericksburg and the humiliating Mud March, suffered from rising desertions and plunging morale. 120â24. I trust that an ever kind Providence will bless us with great success. 13â14; Salmon, p. 175; Sears, pp. Some of A.P. The XI Corps was the smallest in the army and Sigel's requests to general-in-chief Henry Halleck to have it enlarged were refused, so he resigned his command in March 1863 and was replaced by Maj. Gen Oliver O. Howard, who was widely unpopular with the enlisted men and brought in several new generals such as Brig. The Battle of Chancellorsville was a major battle of the American Civil War (1861–1865), and the principal engagement of the Chancellorsville campaign. Hiram G. Berry and Amiel W. Whipple and Brig. My God! 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. 104â105, 118; Sears, pp. Hunt. 378â86; Krick, pp. The Battle of Chancellorsville is best remembered as Lee’sgreatest victory despite the losses he took, including two of his fieldcommanders: Stonewall Jackson, and Brigadier General Elisha F. Paxton. 166â68, 172; Sears, pp. Maj. Gen Carl Schurz, who commanded the 3rd Division of the corps, began rearranging his troops into a line of battle. , Hooker took advantage of improved military intelligence about the positioning and capabilities of the opposing army, superior to that available to his predecessors in army command. , Confederate cavalry under Stuart kept most Union forces from spotting Jackson on his long flank march, which started between 7 and 8 a.m. and lasted until midafternoon. However, McLaws was reluctant to take any action. Furgurson, p. 90; Eicher, pp. Sears, pp. 36â39; Welcher, p. 675. Maj. Gen. Carl Schurz ordered his division to shift from an east-west alignment to north-south, which they did with amazing precision and speed. Both armies resumed their previous position across the Rappahannock from each other at Fredericksburg. When did it take place? , Hooker sent his orders at 1:55 a.m., expecting that Reynolds would be able to start marching before daylight, but problems with his telegraph communications delayed the order to Fredericksburg until just before sunrise. With the loss of Jackson, Lee reorganized his army, and flush with victory began what was to become the Gettysburg campaign a month later. Previously, intelligence gatherers, such as Allan Pinkerton and his detective agency, gathered information only by interrogating prisoners, deserters, "contrabands" (slaves), and refugees. Hebert, pp. First, he sent a message at 9:30 a.m. to the commander of the XI Corps, Maj. Gen. Oliver O. Howard on his right flank: "We have good reason to suppose the enemy is moving to our right. Battle of Chancellorsville was the greatest Confederate victory of the war, won against the longest odds, but for which the Confederacy paid an enormous price in the death of Stonewall Jackson, Lee’s most trusted and effective lieutenant. Eight of the 27 regiments in the corps had never been in battle before, while the remaining 21 had never been on the winning side of a battle. Maj. Gen. Edwin V. Sumner stepped down due to old age (he was 65) and poor health. The wounding of Stonewall Jackson at the Battle of Chancellorsville, May 2, 1863. The. Gen. George Stoneman (who had commanded the III Corps at Fredericksburg). The Southern victory was diminished by the loss of Lt. Gen. Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson, mortally … Respectfully, T.J. Jackson.â Jackson's attack was the turning point of the battle. The Battle of Chancellorsville was a major Civil War battle that took place near the small town of Chancellorsville, Virginia. 132, 193â94; Krick, pp. There were three primary roads available for this west-to-east movement: the Orange Plank Road, the Orange Turnpike, and the River Road. , Catharine Furnace, abandoned in the 1840s, had recently been reactivated to produce iron for the Confederate war effort. Confederate victory. He ordered an advance at 11 a.m. along two roads toward Chancellorsville: McLaws's division and the brigade of Brig. You will attack and destroy any force you may fall in with on the road. , Predictably, Burnside's purge went nowhere, and he offered President Abraham Lincoln his resignation from command of the Army of the Potomac. Circled numbers indicate significant sites at the Battle of Chancellorsville: 1) main body of the Union army under Joseph Hooker; 2) main body of the Army of Northern Virginia under Robert E. Lee; 3) a detachment of Union troops under John Sedgwick; 4) and 5) a detachment of Confederate troops under Jubal Early; 6) Hooker's flank, turned in an attack by Stonewall Jackson. 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. Hill was soon wounded himself. He even offered to resign entirely from the Army, but the president persuaded him to stay, transferring him to the Western Theater, where he became commander of the Department of the Ohio.
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