From Antietam to Chancellorsville: September 1862 to May 1863

“fighting Joe” Hooker

What was Hooker’s plan?

Hooker had a complicated but nevertheless brilliant plan. Given his numerical superiority—roughly 120,000 to fewer than 80,000—he left Major-General John Sedgwick and almost 50,000 men at Fredericksburg to menace the Confederate right, while he led roughly 70,000 to go around Lee’s left. This was a complicated maneuver and would require crossing the Rappahannock River, but unlike what happened on the infamous Mud March of January, most aspects worked according to plan. By April 30, 1863, Hooker had 70,000 men on the south side of the Rappahannock, ready to move against the Confederates, who were still perplexed by what they saw from Sedgwick’s force on their right.



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