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Chancellorsville

April 30 - May 6, 1863

Spotsylvania County, Virginia

Maj. Gen. Joseph Hooker’s well-executed crossing of the Rappahannock fords on April 30, 1863 placed his rejuvenated and reorganized Army of the Potomac on Lee’s vulnerable flank. Rather than retreat before this sizable Federal force, Lee opted to attack Hooker while he was still within the thick wilderness. Late on May 1, 1863, Lee and Jackson conceived one of the boldest plans of the war. Jackson, with 30,000 Confederates, would follow a circuitous route to the Union right and from there conduct an attack on that exposed flank. The May 2, 1863 flank attack stunned the Union XI corps and threatened Hooker’s position, but the victorious Confederate attack ended with the mortal wounding of Stonewall Jackson. On May 3, 1863, the Confederates resumed their offensive and drove Hooker’s larger army back to a new defensive line nearer the fords. Swinging east, Lee then defeated a separate Federal force near Salem Church that had threatened his rear. Lee's victory at Chancellorsville is widely considered to be his greatest of the entire war.
Learn More About This Battle
Flank Attack at Chancellorsville

'Like Chaff Before the Wind'

Learn more about Stonewall Jackson's powerful flank attack against the Union 11th Corps at Chancellorsville on May 2, 1863 in this article from noted historian Robert K. Krick.

Battle of Salem Church

The Battle of Salem Church

Lee's triumph on May 2, 1863 did not end the Battle of Chancellorsville. Learn more about the Battle of Salem Church and the final Federal assault at Chancellorsville.

449
Acres Saved

Saving the Flank Attack at Chancellorsville

This battlefield was identified in our annual report History Under Siege™ in 2002 »  , 2004 »  , and 2003 »

Photos

See our collection of modern and historic images of the Chancellorsville Battlefield.

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Videos

Robert K. Krick gives an overview of the Battle of Chancellorsville.

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Recommended Reading

"Chancellorsville"
by Stephen Sears

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The Smoothbore Volley That Doomed the Confederacy

"The Smoothbore Volley That Doomed the Confederacy: The Death of Stonewall Jackson and Other Chapters on the Army of Northern Virginia"
by Robert K. Krick

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