From Antietam to Chancellorsville: September 1862 to May 1863

“fighting Joe” Hooker

What was “the Wilderness”?

It was the trickiest ground to cover and the diciest part of Hooker’s plan. The Wilderness was a virtually uninhabited area, perhaps thirty square miles of forest that lay between Hooker’s section of his army and General Lee. If Hooker got through the Wilderness, his men would have the room to maneuver that would make all the difference. In the open countryside, the federal superiority in artillery and foot soldiers made it very likely they would gain the victory. But in the Wilderness, everything was open to chance.


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