Stephen W. Sears

Language: English

Pages: 640

ISBN: 039587744X

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

Sears describes the series of controversial events that define this crucial battle, including General Robert E. Lee's radical decision to divide his small army--a violation of basic military rules--sending Stonewall Jackson on his famous march around the Union army flank. Jackson's death--accidentally shot by one of his own soldiers--is one of the many fascinating stories included in this definitive account of the battle of Chancellorsville.

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Light Division), completely isolated on the enemy’s side of the river. Indeed, like so many of General Hooker’s orders to him over the last twenty-four hours, it seemed both illogical and dangerous. “I dare not take up the upper bridges as it would relieve the enemy at once, leaving him free to move against Gen. Brooks,” he replied brusquely. He noted later, “To this dispatch I received no reply.” The dispatch did go to Hooker at the Chancellor house, but perhaps he only glanced at it, for he

command of a division in William F. Smith’s Sixth Corps of William B. Franklin’s Left Grand Division. While Newton was not entirely unfamiliar with the ways of Washington—his father had been a congressman from Virginia for twenty-nine years—he would express himself uncomfortable about approaching the president this way. Indeed, when he came up to the capital that morning from army headquarters on the Rappahannock, General Newton had not had the least thought of going anywhere near the White

Norman Hall had his men shelter behind a stone wall as the firing continued. “Their artillery opposite of us went to shelling us like the devil & they had a fair rake at us . . . ,” Private Tyler wrote. These guns—two posted by Cadmus Wilcox and three by the Washington Artillery—were firing canister “& they bursted just in front of us & the balls just went over us so close they fairly blowed our caps off.” The 20th Massachusetts lay nearby, and Captain Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., described the

winked at by some of the more sensible field officers, who simply told the men “on their honor” not to fire until the Stone Wall was reached. Colonel Burnham rode to where his troops were waiting and called out cheerfully, “Boys, I have got a government contract.” What is it, they wanted to know. “One thousand rebels, potted and salted, and got to have ’em in less than five minutes. Forward! Guide center!”14 IT WAS just after 10 o’clock, as Stuart’s men and Lee’s were smashing their way into

the ambulance along with his chief of artillery, Stapleton Crutchfield, whose shattered leg had been amputated. With them went Dr. McGuire, Chaplain Lacy, and Lieutenant Smith. Hotchkiss rode ahead with a party of pioneers to clear and patch and smooth the road. They passed crowds of walking wounded, Hotchkiss wrote, “each one wishing himself the badly wounded one instead of General Jackson.” Supply trains they encountered hastily cleared the way when the ambulance’s cargo was announced, the

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