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Chapter 6: the Chancellorsville campaign

  • Reorganization of the army by Hooker
  • -- crossing the River in pontoon boats -- the 6th Corps at Fredericksburg -- capture of Marye's Heights -- the battle of Salem Church -- successful withdrawal to bank's Ford -- the Brandy bottle in War

The Army of the Potomac as reorganized under General Hooker consisted of seven corps, the First commanded by General John F. Reynolds; the Second, commanded by General D. N. Couch; the Third, commanded by General D. N. Sickles; the Fifth, commanded by General George G. Meade; the Sixth, commanded by General John Sedgwick; the Eleventh, commanded by Franz Siegel; and the Twelfth, commanded by General H. W. Slocum. All these were Major Generals and had won distinction in previous campaigns. It is safe to say that no army ever started out on a campaign better equipped, better officered, or in higher spirits than did the Army of the Potomac when, on April 27, 1863, it broke camp and began the Chancellorsville campaign. General Hooker's order to move was couched in terms of absolute confidence. He was certain of sure and speedy victory, so certain that when President Lincoln read it, he turned to those who were present and asked, “Why is the hen the wisest of all animals?” and not receiving an answer, said “Because she does not cackle until after she has laid her egg.”

In carrying out his plan, in order to deceive General Lee, Hooker ordered the First, Third and Sixth Corps to demonstrate on the left three miles below Fredericksburg, but not to bring on a general engagement. Meanwhile he, with the rest of the army, began the main operation on the right with the intention of fighting the enemy to the

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Fredericksburg, Va. (Virginia, United States) (2)
Marye's Heights (Virginia, United States) (1)
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Joe Hooker (4)
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