The Battle of Chancellorsville was a military engagement fought between the United States of America and the Confederate States of America from April 30 to May 6, 1863, during the American Civil War.
- Date Started: The Battle of Fort Chancellorsville started on Thursday, April 30, 1863.
- Date Ended: The fighting ended on Wednesday, May 6, 1863.
- Location: The battle took place in and around the crossroads community of Chancellorsville, Virginia.
- Who Won: The Confederate States of America won the Battle of Chancellorsville.
- Civil War Campaign: The Battle of Chancellorsville was part of the Chancellorsville Campaign.
This illustration of the Battle of Chancellorsville depicts Stonewall Jackson just moments after being shot by his own men. Image Source: Library of Congress.
- Many historians rate the Battle of Chancellorsville as Confederate General Robert E. Lee’s greatest military victory.
- Lee had roughly half as many men as Hooker did at Chancellorsville.
- Hooker was cautious and allowed Lee to take advantage.
- On April 30, Hooker approached Chancellorsville with three corps of troops.
- Lee gathered his army and planned to stall Hooker in the Wilderness, the area around Chancellorsville Tavern.
- Lee divided the army and approached Hooker with his men and left Jubal Early’s division at Fredericksburg.
- On the morning of May 1, the fighting started near Zoan Church, three miles east of Chancellorsville. Intense fighting took place all day, but Hooker pulled his men back to Chancellorsville. That night, Lee and Stonewall Jackson developed their plan to attack Chancellorsville.
- The next day, Jackson and Lee moved their men into position and Jackson launched an attack around 5:00. Jackson was able to push the Union forces back. However, around 8:00 that night, Jackson was accidentally shot by some of his own men. J.E.B. Stuart took over the command from Jackson.
- Fighting continued for the next 2 days. On the 5th, Hooker held a Council of War. Although his officers wanted to keep fighting, Hooker decided to retreat.
Commanders and Forces Involved
Principal Union Commanders
- Major General Joseph Hooker
Principal Confederate Commanders
- General Robert E. Lee
- General Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson
- General J.E.B. Stuart
Union Forces Engaged
- Army of the Potomac
Confederate Forces Engaged
- Army of Northern Virginia
Casualties and Statistics
Number of Union Soldiers Engaged
- Roughly 97,382
Number of Confederate Soldiers Engaged
- Roughly 57,352
Estimated Union Casualties
- 17,197 (killed, wounded, and missing/captured).
- 1,606 Union soldiers were killed at the Battle of Chancellorsville.
Estimated Confederate Casualties
- 13,303 (killed, wounded, and missing/captured).
- 1,665 Confederate soldiers were killed at the Battle of Chancellorsville.
Results of the Battle of Chancellorsville
The outcome of the Battle of Chancellorsville was a Confederate victory.
On May 10, 1863, Confederate General Stonewall Jackson died from wounds he received during the Battle of Chancellorsville.
On June 28, 1863, about seven weeks after the Battle of Chancellorsville, President Lincoln replaced Joseph Hooker with Major General George Meade as commander of the Army of the Potomac.
Timeline of the Battle of Chancellorsville
This list shows the main battles and events that took place before and after the Battle of Chancellorsville, and how it fits into the chronological order of the Chancellorsville Campaign.
- April 30–May 6, 1863 — Battle of Chancellorsville
- May 3, 1863 – Second Battle of Fredericksburg
- May 3–4, 1864 — Battle of Salem Church
- April 13–May 10, 1863 — Stoneman’s Raid