Chancellorsville May 1-4, 1863
Objectives • Students will learn how the North reacted to their defeat at Fredericksburg. • Learn the changes made by Joe Hooker. • Learn how Hooker’s plan fell apart. • Learn how Chancellorsville was the South’s greatest victory, and their most costliest.
“Give us Victories” After the Union defeat at Fredericksburg, Lincoln turns to Massachusetts man “Fighting” Joe Hooker. Hooker tries new innovations, restructures command, improves equipment, supplies and boosts the morale of the troops. In a letter from Lincoln, the President said,”...give us victories!”
Hooker’s Plan Hooker will fake an attack against Lee at Fredericksburg, then swing around to the west and attack Lee’s flank.
Chancellorsville On April 27 Hooker’s men reached Chancellorsville, a lone house in a clearing named after the family. Hooker occupied the house and made it his headquarters.
Lee’s Reaction Lee left a token force to face the Union at Fredericksburg, then moved the rest of his army to confront Hooker.
May 2 Plan During the evening of May 1, Lee and Jackson met to discuss the situation. Jackson will take 26,000 men on an extraordinary 14 mile march through an impassible forest known as “The Wilderness”. There they would flank the Union and “cross the tee” of the enemy.
Jackson’s March All day Jackson’s men marched . They had been spotted but the sightings were dismissed as soldiers going home.
Rebel Attack At 5:00 pm the Confederates launched their assault and drove the Union forces commanded by Oliver O. Howard from their camps.
Jackson’s Plan Night fell and Jackson was looking to continue the fight. He went out between the lines to scout.
Jackson’s Wounding When he turned to come back, confederate pickets opened fire, killing two and wounding Jackson twice, one severely in the left arm.
Amputation Dr. Hunter McGuire examined the wound and determined amputation was necessary. The arm was then given a proper burial.
Lee’s Reaction When Lee heard of the situation, he remarked, “You have lost your left arm. I have lost my right.”
J. E. B. Stuart James Ewell Brown Stuart took over and led the Confederates to a total victory.
Jackson’s Recovery Jackson was taken to Guinea Station to recover. His wounds were healing, but he developed pneumonia.
May 10, 1863 Dr. McGuire determined Jackson would die on May 10. Just prior to his death, Jackson said, “Let us cross over the river and rest under the shade of the trees”. He was finally laid to rest at Virginia Military Institute, under the shade of the trees.
Results Chancellorsville was a tremendous tactical victory for the South. The North lost 17,000, Lee lost 13,000. But Lee would not have to deal with the loss of Stonewall Jackson.