As of late, here at Part Time Commander, we have been on a Civil War theme. It is a time in history that many would like to erase. The fact is, we cannot erase history, but we can learn from it.
In today’s post, we are going to look at another Civil War battle that played a major role in how the War played out… It is the Battle of Chancellorville. These are the top 10 amazing facts.
These are in no particular order.
#1: When And Where?
The Battle of Chancellorsville took place from April 30th to May 6th, 1863. It happened near Chancellorsville in Spotsylvania County, Virginia.
General Joseph Hooker led the Union Army of the Potomac against General Robert E. Lee and his Confederate Army of Virginia.
#3: General Robert E. Lee Went Against Sound Military Doctrine
The Confederates were greatly outnumbered. Lee chose to split his smaller forces into very small units instead of keeping them together. This allowed him to attack General Hooker on many sides which took the Union forces by surprise and forcing them to retreat across the Rappahannock River.
Many assumed that with nearly double the troops, Hooker would force Lee into a retreat.
#4: The Eleventh Corps Was Blamed
Because of #3, Lee and the Confederates were victorious in the Battle.
The loss was blamed on the Union Eleventh Corps which was made up of primarily immigrants from Europe. It was the Eleventh who were decimated by “Stonewall” Jackson and his soldiers when they attacked Hooker’s right flank.
#5: Number Of Troops And Casualties
The Union had approximately 97,000 troops while the Confederacy had approximately 57,000.
The numbers of casualties were high:
- Union – 14,000
- Confederacy – 10,000
Other posts you may enjoy:
- Top 10 Civil War Battles
- 20th Maine Regiment: 16 Cool Facts
- Top 20 Famous Civil War Units: The Best of the Best
- Top 10 General Stonewall Jackson Quotes
- J.E.B. Stuart Quotes, Facts & Good to Know Things
#6: Other Leaders In This Battle
I told you about Hooker and Lee, but other leaders during the Battle Of Chancellorsville included:
- George Stoneman
- George Meade
- Oliver Howard
- Stonewall Jackson
- J.E.B. Stuart
- A.P. Hill
The Battle Of Chancellorsville was fought because Hooker had recently taken command of the Army of the Potomac and the goal was to break through and take Richmond, Virginia.
If Hooker could have been successful, the War probably would have ended much sooner.
It was Hooker who lost his guts as the Union still had plenty of fight left in them.
#8: General Robert E. Lee Is Greatly Saddened By This Victory
While you would have thought the Confederate leader would have been elated by this victory, it was not so.
First, the battle had cost many Confederate lives. And secondly, one of Lee’s greatest leaders was killed in this battle.
“Stonewall” Jackson was accidentally shot by friendly fire.
#9: Hooker Lost His Job Because Of This Battle
Because General Hooker lost his nerve, he also lost his job.
About 7 weeks after the Battle Of Chancellorville, President Abraham Lincoln replace Hooker with Major General George Meade as commander of the Army of the Potomac.
#10: General Robert E. Lee Gained Too Much Confidence
With “Stonewall” Jackson now dead after his arm was amputated from being shot, General Lee felt an overwhelming confidence. Some believe he thought Jackson would be their guiding angel and Lee made a decision to go North and attack Union troops.
The result was the Battle of Gettysburg and it was disastrous for the Confederates.
We can learn a lot from Lee. It is good to have high confidence but you need to also think and plan with logic.
If he would have used logic, Lee would have known that they should not have even won this Battle. How would they in the North?
One must wonder how the Civil War would have played out if “Stonewall” Jackson would have lived.
What are your thoughts on this Civil War battle?
You can leave all comments and questions below.