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The Campaign of Chancellorsville   By: (1842-1909)

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First Page:

THE CAMPAIGN OF CHANCELLORSVILLE

by Theodore A. Dodge

To the members of The Military Historical Society of Massachusetts, of whose researches into the history of our Civil War the following pages form but a modest part, this volume is, with Sincere Regard, Dedicated by the author.

Transcriber's Note:

Errata and other transcription notes are included as an appendix

As companion to this etext, I recommend maps available on the Internet from the History Department of the U. S. Military Academy:

http://www.dean.usma.edu/history

CONTENTS.

I. INTRODUCTION II. CONDITION OF THE COMBATANTS III. HOOKER AND THE ARMY OF THE POTOMAC IV. THE ARMY OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA V. DIFFICULTY OF AN ATTACK VI. THE PROPOSED CAVALRY RAID VII. THE FEINT BY THE LEFT WING VIII. THE REAL MOVE BY THE RIGHT WING IX. LEE'S INFORMATION AND MOVEMENTS X. HOOKER'S ADVANCE FRIDAY XI. POSITION AT CHANCELLORSVILLE XII. JACKSON'S MARCH AND SICKLES'S ADVANCE XIII. HOOKER'S THEORIES AND CHANCES XIV. POSITION OF THE ELEVENTH CORPS XV. SITUATION AT SIX O'CLOCK XVI. JACKSON'S ATTACK XVII. CONDUCT OF THE ELEVENTH CORPS XVIII. HOOKER'S PARRY XIX. THE MIDNIGHT ATTACK XX. STONEWALL JACKSON XXI. POSITION AT FAIRVIEW XXII. THE FIGHT AT FAIRVIEW XXIII. THE LEFT CENTRE XXIV. THE NEW LINES XXV. SUNDAY'S MISCARRIAGE XXVI. SEDGWICK'S CHANGE OF ORDERS XXVII. SEDGWICK'S ASSAULT XXVIII. SEDGWICK MARCHES TOWARD HOOKER XXIX. SALEM CHURCH XXX. SEDGWICK IN DIFFICULTY XXXI. SEDGWICK WITHDRAWS XXXII. HOOKER'S CRITICISMS XXXIII. HOOKER'S FURTHER PLANS XXXIV. THE ARMY OF THE POTOMAC RE CROSSES XXXV. OPERATIONS OF THE CAVALRY CORPS XXXVI. HOOKER'S RESUME XXXVII. SOME RESULTING CORRESPONDENCE APPENDIX.

THE CAMPAIGN OF CHANCELLORSVILLE.

I. INTRODUCTION.

It must seem to the casual reader of the history of the war of 1861 65, that enough has already been written upon the campaign of Chancellorsville. And there are numerous brilliant essays, in the histories now before the public, which give a coup d'oeil more or less accurate of this ten days' passage of arms. But none of these spread before the reader facts sufficiently detailed to illustrate the particular theory advanced by each to account for the defeat of the Army of the Potomac on this field.

The stigma besmirching the character of the Eleventh Corps, and of Howard, its then commanding general, for a panic and rout in but a small degree owing to them; the unjust strictures passed upon Sedgwick for his failure to execute a practically impossible order; the truly remarkable blunders into which Gen. Hooker allowed himself to lapse, in endeavoring to explain away his responsibility for the disaster; the bare fact, indeed, that the Army of the Potomac was here beaten by Lee, with one half its force; and the very partial publication, thus far, of the details of the campaign, and the causes of our defeat, may stand as excuse for one more attempt to make plain its operations to the survivors of the one hundred and eighty thousand men who there bore arms, and to the few who harbor some interest in the subject as mere history.

To say that Gen. Hooker lapsed into blunders in explaining his share in this defeat, is to use a form of words purposely tempered to the memory of a gallant soldier, who, whatever his shortcomings, has done his country signal service; and to avoid the imputation of baldly throwing down the gauntlet of ungracious criticism. All reference to Gen. Hooker's skill or conduct in this, one of the best conceived and most fatally mismanaged of the many unsuccessful advances of the Army of the Potomac, is made with sincere appreciation of his many admirable qualities, frankly, and untinged by bitterness... Continue reading book >>




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