150 Years Since “Lee’s Greatest Victory”

Today marks the 150th anniversary of the beginning of the Chancellorsville Campaign in Virginia in which Major General Joseph Hooker, recently given command of the Federal army, hatched a plan intended to drive General Robert E Lee and the Confederate army under his command from Fredericksburg entrenchments.  On April 27th, Hooker set his plans and his army into motion, although fighting would not truly begin for several days.

The major action in the campaign, the Battle of Chancellorsville, began April 30 and lasted until May 6, when Union soldiers withdrew in defeat. Although known as “Lee’s Greatest Victory,” the 13,000+ Confederate casualties amounted to 22% of Lee’s army. Those casualties included General Stonewall Jackson, Lee’s right hand man, who was injured by friendly fire and died several days later.

 Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, [reproduction number, e.g., LC-B8184-3287]
Gen. Robert E. Lee, C.S.A..
Bolstered by the win, Lee pressed northward, a decision that would lead to the battle at Gettysburg, Pa.
If you’re interested in the Civil War and the Battle of Chancellorsville, take a look at some of the library’s resources or listen to a podcast from one of the recent library events on the Civil War.
Source: Green, A. Wilson. “The Battle of Chacellorsville.” National Park Service. US National Park Service, n.d. Web. 23 Apr. 2013

 

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