From Antietam to Chancellorsville: September 1862 to May 1863

“fighting Joe” Hooker

What happened on the next day?

On May 3, 1863, Hooker and the Army of the Potomac remained in a defensive posture. On Hooker’s staff, no one perceived any danger except that of remaining too long in one position. There were grumbles and complaints about the general, who was acting out of form, however.

Lee and 14,000 men held their position and were delighted when nothing happened. Outnumbered approximately five to one, they would have been completely crushed if Hooker moved. He did not, however, and as midafternoon came, Lee and his staff began to breathe sighs of relief. They did not know exactly where Stonewall Jackson was, but they had heard nothing—cannon or rifle shot—to indicate that his extreme flanking maneuver had been discovered.


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