From Antietam to Chancellorsville: September 1862 to May 1863

“fighting Joe” Hooker

What was the situation in the West?

The Western Theater was entirely dependent on Vicksburg. As long as the Confederates held that town, they prevented the Federals from removing the last section of the Mississippi Valley from Confederate control. The Confederate commander, Major-General John Pemberton, was not popular, however. He was a Philadelphia-born Yankee who had chosen the Southern cause when the war began. Many Confederates, civilian and military alike, considered his loyalty suspect.

Braxton Bragg and the Army of Tennessee were, likewise, very much on the defensive. They had not recovered from the disaster at Murfreesboro in January. When one examines the different armies and commanders, the only one that was in truly good shape was Grant’s, and he was still stymied by Vicksburg.


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