Chancellorsville, VA

The Battle of Chancellorsville

[Battle of Chancellorsville by Kurz and Allison - courtesy of Wikipedia]

 

Date(s): April 30-May 6, 1863

Location: Please click on link below for map.

Chancellorsville National Military Pk (park), Virginia, United States

Campaign: Chancellorsville Campaign (April-May 1863)

Battles in Campaign:

Situation:

Commanders:

  • Union:  Maj. Gen. Joseph Hooker

  • Confederate: Gen. Robert E. Lee and Maj. Gen. Thomas J. Jackson 

Principal Forces:

  • Union: 97,382

  • Confederate: 57,352

Map: First Day at Chancellorsville Animated Map - CWPT

Description:

  • On April 27, Maj. Gen. Joseph Hooker led the V, XI, and XII Corps on a campaign to turn the Confederate left flank by crossing the Rappahannock and Rapidan Rivers above Fredericksburg.

  • Passing the Rapidan via Germanna and Ely’s Fords, the Federals concentrated near Chancellorsville on April 30 and May 1.

  • The III Corps was ordered to join the army via United States Ford. Sedgwick’s VI Corps and Gibbon’s division remained to demonstrate against the Confederates at Fredericksburg.

  • In the meantime, Lee left a covering force under Maj. Gen. Jubal Early in Fredericksburg and marched with the rest of the army to confront the Federals.

  • As Hooker’s army moved toward Fredericksburg on the Orange Turnpike, they encountered increasing Confederate resistance.

  • Hearing reports of overwhelming Confederate force, Hooker ordered his army to suspend the advance and to concentrate again at Chancellorsville.

  • Pressed closely by Lee’s advance, Hooker adopted a defensive posture, thus giving Lee the initiative. 

  • On the morning of May 2, Lt. Gen. T. J. Jackson directed his corps on a march against the Federal left flank, which was reported to be  “hanging in the air.”

  • Fighting was sporadic on other portions of the field throughout the day, as Jackson’s column reached its jump-off point. At 5:20 pm, Jackson’s line surged forward in an overwhelming attack that crushed the Union XI Corps.

  • Federal troops rallied, resisted the advance, and counterattacked.

  • Disorganization on both sides and darkness ended the fighting.

  • While making a night reconnaissance, Jackson was mortally wounded by his own men and carried from the field. J.E.B. Stuart took temporary command of Jackson’s Corps.

  • On May 3, the Confederates attacked with both wings of the army and massed their artillery at Hazel Grove. This finally broke the Federal line at Chancellorsville.

  • Hooker withdrew a mile and entrenched in a defensive “U” with his back to the river at United States Ford.

  • On the night of May 5-6, after Union reverses at Salem Church, Hooker re-crossed to the north bank of the Rappahannock.

  • This battle was considered by many historians to be Lee’s greatest victory.

Photo Gallery:1

Chancellorsville Battlefield - Visitor Center

Chronological Maps of Chancellorsville Campaign

Site of Confederate Trenches Held by "Stonewall" Jackson's Troops

Site of Confederate Trenches Held by "Stonewall" Jackson's Troops

Description of Hooker's Movements - April 27 - May 6, 1863

"Stonewall" Jackson Shot by Own Troops!

Confederate Catastrophe - "Stonewall" Jackson Shot

Marker on Site Where Jackson was Mortally Wounded

Marker on Site Where Jackson was Mortally Wounded

Hooker Believes Lee is in Retreat - May 2, 1863

Catharine Furnace

Site of Catharine Furnace

Jackson's Flank March

Hazel Grove

Lee Renews the Attack

A Very Hot Place

Lee Renews the Attack

Confederates Under J.E.B. Stuart Drive Hooker's Troops Past Chancellorsville - May 3, 1863

Description of the Chancellorsville Inn

Climatic Struggle

Lee's Greatest Triumph

 

Classification2: A

Casualties3:

  • Union: 14,000

  • Confederate: 10,000

Results: Confederate Victory Miniature Confederate Victory

Battlefield Websites:

Lodging and Restaurants: Virginia Tourism

Recommended Resources:


1 Please click on the image to enlarge it. You may copy the images if you include the following note and link with each image: "Courtesy of civil-war-journeys.org."

2  Classification:

  • A - having a decisive influence on a campaign and a direct impact on the course of the war

  • B - having a direct and decisive influence on their campaign

  • C - having observable influence on the outcome of a campaign

  • D - having a limited influence on the outcome of their campaign or operation but achieving or affecting important local objectives

3 Casualties are someone killed, injured, wounded, captured or missing.

Revised 04/12/2013