From Antietam to Chancellorsville: September 1862 to May 1863

“fighting Joe” Hooker

Could the war have been won—or lost, depending on the point of view—that day?

No. Historians are fond of using expressions like “the federal army could have been annihilated,” but nothing like annihilation ever took place. What could have transpired is that half the federal army might have been cut off and forced to surrender. Would this have forced the Union to sue for peace? Probably not.


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