Chronological History of the American Civil War

P a g e | 120

In Alabama, Brig. General Nathan B. Forrest and his Confederate cavalry had been tracking Streight for a few days and caught up with him this day. The Confederates attacked the Union rear guard and a daylong fight ensued. The Confederates forced the Federals to retreat. In Mississippi, Major General John McClernand, (U.S.) is fighting the Battle of Port Gibson, or Thompson's Hill, Mississippi, with Brig. General John S. Bowen, (CSA), being defeated. Total casualties approximate 1,700. Saturday, May 2, 1863 : Stonewall Jackson (CSA) commanded a force of 25,000 men in an attempt to get behind Hooker’s main force and to attack them in the rear. It was a very bold plan that had to work. If Jackson’s army was wiped out, Lee (CSA) would have been left with just 15,000 men. To convince Hooker that his men were retreating, Lee ordered numerous trains to ride up and down the Fredericksburg/ Richmond railway – even if their carriages were empty. His plan worked and Hooker became convinced that Lee was pulling back his men. Lulled into a false sense of security, Hooker may well have taken his eye off of what was going on and when Jackson launched his attack behind Hooker’s line, the Union army was unprepared. Many parts of the Union army were driven back. However, in an attempt to know what was going on at the front, Jackson went to the front line to assess the situation for himself. One of his own men did not recognise him and shot him. Jackson was badly wounded. The general survived with the loss of an arm to amputation. The Mobile Register & Advertiser writes: “A paragraph has been going the rounds, of an old lady who has a moustache on her lip.—It is not uncommon for young ladies in this vicinity to have moustaches on their lips, but rare that they grow them.—[Chat. Rebel.]” Sunday, May 3, 1863 : As the battle of Chancellorsville continued today, the Confederate army of Stonewall Jackson (now under the command of Jeb Stuart, since Jackson’s wounding yesterday) set up an artillery post on a small hill called Hazel Grove. From here, they managed to hit the Chancellor house, which General Joseph Hooker (U.S.) was using as his headquarters. A falling brick hit Hooker in the head, incapacitating him and causing further chaos in the Union lines, which were none too organized today, to begin with. Stunned, Hooker took a shot of brandy and ordered, the retreat from the Chancellorsville area, which allowed Jackson's men (CSA) to rejoin the bulk of Lee's troops. The daring flanking maneuver had worked. Hooker had failed to exploit the divided Army of Northern Virginia, (CSA) and allowed the smaller Rebel force to defeat his numerically superior force. This battle included, The Second Battle of Fredericksburg, (or Mayre's Heights) and Salem Church, (or Salem Heights) and near Banks' Ford, and Chancellorsville, Virginia, with skirmishes, generally along the lines, as Major General, Joseph Hooker, (U.S.) orders Major General, John Sedgwick, (U.S.) to overrun the remaining Confederate lines holding Mayre's Heights. Near Cedar Bluff, Alabama, Brig. General Nathan Bedford Forrest (CSA) skirmishes again with Col. Streight, (U.S.) and he surrenders. Col. Streight and his subordinate Union officers are sent to Libby Prison, Richmond, Virginia. And in Mississippi, Rear Admiral Porter's (U.S.) force and troops under Major General U. S. Grant (U.S.) forced the evacuation of Grand Gulf. Porter reported: ''The Navy holds the door to Vicksburg.'' Monday, May 4, 1863 : Sedgwick’s (U.S.) men held off the first assaults on their positions by Lee’s army. Then in a stroke of fortune, the whole area was shrouded in fog and Sedgwick used this to get his men out of Fredericksburg without further loss. In a Council of War, Hooker announced that the Army of the Potomac was to retreat to Falmouth, Virginia. More action at Salem Church, Virginia, as Major General Joseph Hooker withdraws the Army of the Potomac across the Rappahannock River, ending the Chancellorsville, Virginia Campaign. Tuesday, May 5, 1863 : As morning dawned today, General Lee (CSA) prepared to launch another attack on Hooker’s Union army but found that they were in full retreat across the Rappahannock and cancelled the plan. Both sides had more than enough to do in treating the wounded, burying the dead, and tallying the survivors. In three days of battle in Fredericksburg and around the Chancellor house the bloodshed had been horrific: from an army of 134,000 the Union had suffered around 17,000 casualties. The southern losses were lower in numbers, but higher in percent--12,800 out of an army of

Made with FlippingBook Online newsletter