Tag Archive for 'General Hooker'

Gen. Hooker’s Headquarters N-34

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Just northeast, Maj. Gen. Joseph Hooker, commander of the Union Army of the Potomac, kept his headquarters, Jan.-June 1863, amid a vast city of tents and camps. It was here he rehabilitated the Union army after its catastrophic defeat in the First Battle of Fredericksburg in Dec. 1862 and its subsequent “Winter of Discontent.” From here he designed a campaign to defeat Gen. Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia at Chancellorsville–a brilliant plan that failed in May 1863 because of his hesitancy and Lee’s aggressiveness. President Abraham Lincoln twice visited Hooker, here in April 1863 and again in May, after the defeat.

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Fredericksburg Campaign N-4 and Battles of Fredericksburg E-44

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Fredericksburg Campaign N-4
Frustrated by the Army of the Potomac’s lack of progress, President Abraham Lincoln replaced army commander Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan with Maj. Gen. Ambrose E. Burnside, who assumed command on 9 Nov. 1862. Within a week, he had the army marching from its camps near Warrenton toward Fredericksburg along this road. Burnside hoped to cross the Rappahannock River at Fredericksburg by pontoon bridges and march on Richmond, but a delay in the arrival of the pontoons thwarted his plan. By the time the bridges arrived, Gen. Robert E. Lee’s army blocked his path. Burnside forced a crossing of the river on 11 Dec. but was defeated two days later at the Battle of Fredericksburg. [2002]

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The Mud March N-6

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In Jan. 1863, after the Federal defeat at the First Battle of Fredericksburg on 13 Dec., Maj. Gen. Ambrose E. Burnside sought to restore the army’s morale by crossing the Rappahannock River at Banks’s Ford two miles south and attacking the rear of Gen. Robert E. Lee’s army. The march began on 19 Jan.; that night a warm front thawed the frozen roads with 48 hours of pouring rain. Confederates across the river taunted the sodden Federals with large signs: “This Way to Richmond” and “Burnside Stuck in the Mud.” Burnside canceled the march on 23 Jan., and two days later President Abraham Lincoln replaced him with Maj. Gen. Joseph Hooker.

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The Chancellorsville Campaign E-118/Battle of Chancellorsville J-40

Chancellorsville

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The Chancellorsville Campaign E-118
While General Robert E. Lee engaged the Union army at Chancellorsville, Confederate Maj. Gen. Jubal A. Early confronted a smaller Union force led by Maj. Gen. John Sedgwick at Fredericksburg. On 3 May 1863, Sedgwick overran Early’s lines at Marye’s Heights, compelling Early to fall back to this point. When Sedgwick moved toward Chancellorsville, Early slipped in behind him, retaking Marye’s Heights. Early and other Confederate troops then attacked Sedgwick on 4 May, forcing the Union general to retreat across the Rappahannock River at Scott’s Ford. [2002]

Battle of Chancellorsville J-40
Hooker reached this point, April 30, 1863; next day he entrenched, with his left wing on the river and his right wing on this road several miles west. That wing was surprised by Jackson and driven back here, May 2. The Confederates stormed the position here, May 3. The Union army withdrew northward, May 5-6, 1863. [1930]

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