About Chancellorsville Battlefield
Chancellorsville Battlefield in Virginia was the site of a major Confederate victory during the American Civil War and part of the wider Chancellorsville Campaign, an attempt by the Unionists to capture the Confederate capital of Richmond.
Chancellorsville Battlefield history
Fought between 30 April and 6 May 1863, the Battle of Chancellorsville saw the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia led by General Robert E. Lee defeat Major General Joseph Hooker’s Army of the Potomac despite all the odds being stacked in favour of the Unionists. Lee’s army was not only half the size of Hooker’s but was also in a state of disarray when the Chancellorsville Campaign began.
Yet, with the help of a risky plan by General Lee combined with Unionist miscommunication, badly managed Unionist corps and Hooker’s inexperience in command, the Confederates achieved victory. However, with over a quarter of Lee’s forces killed or wounded in the battle and the loss of his most important generals, including Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson, this was something of a pyrrhic victory.
Chancellorsville Battlefield today
Today, visitors can explore Chancellorsville Battlefield within the wider remit of the Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park. Chancellorsville Battlefield offers numerous tours ranging from driving and walking tours to audio and virtual tours.
There is also a 20 minute video at the Chancellorsville Battlefield Visitor Center as well as exhibitions and literature. The site also has a monument to Stonewall Jackson.
Getting to Chancellorsville Battlefield
The best place to start a visit is at the Chancellorsville Battlefield Visitor Center on the Plank Road (Virginia Route 3). From there you can drive the Jackson Flank March Trail or visit places like Salem Church, the Chancellor House site, Hazel Grove, Fairview, or the woods near Hooker’s Last Line.
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