The Battle of Chancellorsville is considered to be a victory for the Confederate army during the Civil War. It is believed by many to have been General Robert E. Lee's greatest victory during the war. The battle was fought from April 30 to May 6, 1863, in Spotsylvania County, Virginia.Continue Reading
The Union army was commanded by Major General Joseph Hooker, who led a force of 97,382 soldiers. Robert E. Lee's Confederate forces consisted of 57,352 soldiers. The total estimated casualties was 30,764, including 1,694 killed on the Union side and 1,724 killed on the Confederate side. Among the Confederate soldiers killed was Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson, one of Lee's most trusted generals.
On April 30, 1863, Hooker successfully led a march and Rappahannock River crossing to where Lee's army was located. Although the Confederate army was outnumbered by the Union soldiers, Lee chose to attack while Hooker's men were still in the wilderness surrounding Chancellorsville. Stonewall Jackson then led about 30,000 Confederate soldiers to Hooker's vulnerable right flank. The attack on May 2 stunned Hooker and destroyed half his fighting line. The next day Lee's army drove the larger Union army back towards the river. Hooker crossed back over the Rappahannock on May 6, having been defeated by Lee.
The 1895 novel "The Red Badge of Courage" by Stephen Crane is based on the Battle of Chancellorsville.Learn more about US History