Facts About The Battle Of Chancellorsville

There are many facts about the battle of Chancellorsville that most people know about. However, there are other facts that you might not be aware of. These facts can provide a better overall understanding of the battle and the consequences of it.

General Lee’s Perfect Battle Went Against Military Convention

Chancellorsville is generally viewed as General Lee’s greatest victory, but it was also the most improbable. His forces were outnumbered 2 to 1. He decided on a risky and unusual tactic. He decided to spit his smaller force not once, but twice. This allowed his forces to take General Hooker’s army by surprise and they were unable to push their advantageous numbers.

A Recent Overhaul Of The Union Army Could Have Played A Role

In 1963, after the Union defeat in Fredericksburg, President Lincoln chose a new commander, General Hooker. Soon after this, 2 other senior generals in the Union army resigned. This left Hooker short on experienced officers. When he went about reorganizing and streamlining the army, many of his key decision backfired on him. These changes demoralized the army and left the army vulnerable to attacks which may have contributed to the defeat in Chancellorsville.

General Lee Won, But At A High Cost

While the cost of lives in the battle was high on both sides, it was actually the loss of Stonewall Jackson that had the greatest impact. Jackson had been returning from a reconnaissance mission when his unit was mistaken for Union cavalry and fired upon by their own army. Jackson was shot 3 times and seemed to be recovering well after his left arm had to be amputated. However, 8 days after being shot, Jackson developed pneumonia and died. This marks the end of the life of one of the South’s brightest stars; delivering a great blow to the Confederate cause.

The Battle Was Briefly The Bloodiest In American History

In a single day of the battle, almost two-thirds of the casualties occurred. May 3, was the deadliest in the Civil War at the time. By the end of the war, this was given credit as the fourth deadliest battle. The 13,000 casualties suffered by the Confederacy amounted to 22% of General Lee’s fighting force; a number that was almost impossible to replace. The Union losses of almost 17,200 were also among the highest of the Civil War. The most deadly battle was the battle of Gettysburg. Both sides would suffer even greater losses than the battle of Chancellorsville.