THIS MONTH IN CIVIL WAR HISTORY
‘Eve of the Storm’ Image courtesy Don Troiani, unauthorized reproductions prohibited.
During the early-morning hours of May 2, while in conference (depicted above) with Lieutenant General “Stonewall” Jackson, General Robert E. Lee received a welcome bit of news from Major General J.E.B. Stuart – Major General Joe Hooker’s right flank remained unguarded against an attack from the west. Upon hearing this intelligence, Jackson suggested a bold plan of action. He would take 30,000 men, march around the Federal front, approach their right flank, and initiate an attack. Lee, somewhat taken aback with the audacity of Jackson’s idea, finally agreed.
Jackson soon began the movement of his foot cavalry and 108 pieces of artillery through a densely forested area. Once he assembled his forces in a position opposite the Federal right flank, “Stonewall” gave the order to attack, and his soldiers burst from the woods amid screams of the “Rebel Yell,” and began to roll the blue line. In the process of achieving his finest victory, Lee counted 13,000 among his killed, wounded, or missing; Hooker lost 17,000 men. The greatest casualty among the many fallen Confederates at Chancellorsville came with the loss of Jackson. Upon receiving news of the need to amputate Jackson’s wounded arm, Lee lamented, “He has lost his left arm, I have lost my right.” Complications from pneumonia claimed Thomas J. Jackson on May 10.
May 18-19, 2013
June 1, 2013
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