From Antietam to Chancellorsville: September 1862 to May 1863

“fighting Joe” Hooker

Why was the crisis not more severe?

Very likely Lincoln did not realize the extent to which he, and the average fighting man in the federal armies, had bolstered the cause of the Union. Had the Battle of Chancellorsville occurred a year earlier, there might have been need for despair. But in those twelve months, Lincoln had issued the Emancipation Proclamation, broadening the basis for the war, and reported a number of significant Union victories in the West. Chancellorsville was a terrible, painful defeat, but it did not dishearten those who believed in the Northern cause.


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