THE BATTLE OF CHANCELLORSVILLE:
LEE'S GREATEST GAMBLE

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JULY 27-31, 2022

It’s not possible for anyone to truly understand the Battle of Gettysburg without having a solid understanding of the Battle of Chancellorsville. The mortal wounding of Stonewall Jackson, Hooker losing his nerve, Sickles being ordered to abandon Hazel Grove, and other similar events helped to shape the forthcoming Gettysburg Campaign. We will enjoy an in-depth multi-day tour of sites associated with the Battle of Chancellorsville, and we will conclude that tour at the Stonewall Jackson Death Site at Guinea Station.

ITINERARY

All participants are responsible for arranging hotel accommodations for the seminar, which is not included in tour price. $129/night double occupancy plus tax at the Hampton Inn. Special pricing for participants based on room availability. When making reservations by phone, reference Chambersburg Civil War Seminars & Tours.

General Information:

  • Conference based at Hampton Inn at 1080 Hospitality Lane, Fredericksburg, VA 22401.

  • Deluxe continental breakfast for Hampton Inn guests each morning. 

  • Check-In will be in the hotel lobby about 1 hour before the day’s activities begin. You only need to check-in once.

  • Each participant will receive a packet of tactical maps and a                                       name badge at check-in

  • Classroom sessions will be held in the conference room of the Homewood Suites (1040 Hospitality Lane) across the parking lot from the Hampton Inn.

  • Bus tours will leave from the Hampton Inn parking lot at the specified time.

  • Please note we have added Activity Levels to each day of the bus tours on a 1 to 5 scale with 1 being minimal and 5 being above average (a 10 would be an Ed Bearss Hike)

Wednesday, July 27

· Bus leaves from Hampton Inn

· Lunch included

· Return by 5 p.m.

· Dinner on your own

 

8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m. “Hooker Takes Command—actions through April 30, 1863” bus and walking tour led by Greg Mertz

 

Activity Level 3: The only walks will be around the inside of fortifications or optional add-ons during the tour

Bus Tour Description:

New Federal army commander Joseph Hooker made significant improvements to the army, including enhancing his cavalry, and commenced with some of the most impressive opening maneuvers of any campaign during the war.  On this day the tour will visit a Union winter encampment site, see Union cavalry progress on the battlefields of Hartwood Church and Kelly’s Ford, and visit Germanna Ford among the landmarks on Hooker’s turning movement that would land his army at Chancellorsville.

 Sites to visit:

· Stafford Civil War Park

· Hartwood Church

· Kelly’s Ford

· Germanna Ford

 

Dinner on your own.

 

The rest of the evening is yours to explore the area.

 

 

Thursday, July 28

 

Annual Luhn Memorial Silent Auction

Held during the lecture portion of the conference, historical artifacts and other items will be available for bid throughout the day. The auction will close and winners announced at the end of the day. All proceeds support battlefield preservation. Please help us support the preservation and education of America’s history!

 

8:30  a.m.—12 p.m.  Morning Lectures

  • Classroom sessions will be held in the conference room of the Homewood Suites (1040 Hospitality Lane) across the parking lot from the Hampton Inn.

  • Book Vendor, Owens & Ramsey Historical Booksellers, onsite

 

Lectures include:

  • Welcome & Introduction by Eric Wittenberg, program coordinator

  • Chancellorsville: a Case Study of Confederate Command Relationships and Federal Ethnic Tensions by Dr. Christian B. Keller, Prof. of History, U.S. Army War College.

    • The climactic Chancellorsville Campaign of May 1863 witnessed both the apogee of the Lee-Jackson command team and a nadir in Northern German-American morale. The two events were inextricably linked by what happened in the tangled undergrowth of the Virginia wilderness west of Fredericksburg and jointly bore major results for Union and Confederate fortunes in the Eastern Theater, and indeed the entire conflict. This presentation will draw on Dr. Keller's extensive publications about both the Lee-Jackson relationship and the Federal 11th Corps and its ethnically German soldiery, proposing that, for a moment in time, the two topics congealed and charted the course of the Civil War. 

  • Stoneman’s Raid: A Poor Decision with Far-Reaching Consequences by Eric J. Wittenberg 

    • Gen. Joseph Hooker contemplated a deep raid to interdict the Confederate lines of communication, supply and retreat by the Army of the Potomac’s Cavalry Corps. When terrible weather prevented this raid from commencing as planned, Hooker made the poor decision to proceed anyway, with predictably bad results. 

  • The Last Days of Stonewall Jackson by Chris Mackowski

    • Jackson’s loss has been called one of the major turning points of the war. Follow his last days, from his flank attack at Chancellorsville and his accidental wounding by his own men, to the amputation of his arm and his final journey over the river to rest under the shade of the trees.

 

12 - 2 p.m. Lunch on your own

 

2—6 p.m.  Afternoon Lectures

  • Lectures held at Hampton Inn Conference Room

 

  • The Crucible of Battle: May 3rd at Chancellorsville by Kristopher White

    • May 3rd, 1863, is perhaps the most misunderstood and overlooked phase of the Chancellorsville Campaign. Often overshadowed by Stonewall Jackson’s May 2nd flank attack and his subsequent wounding, the fighting on May 3rd was the true battle of Chancellorsville. For more than five hours battle raged near the Chancellorsville Crossroads. At Fredericksburg, Confederate forces were dislodged from their defensive positions, forcing them to fight a desperate delaying action at Salem Church. In the end, the day produced more than 22,000 casualties. Although the Army of the Potomac ultimately lost the battle, many opportunities for victory presented themselves to Joe Hooker on May 3rd at Chancellorsville. Join Kristopher White as he unpacks the many myths, misconceptions, and lost opportunities of “Lee’s greatest victory.”

  • Negligence on the Right: The Eleventh Corps at Chancellorsville by Donald Pfanz 

    • "Stonewall" Jackson's May 2, 1863, rout of the Eleventh Corps changed the course of the Battle at Chancellorsville and cast obloquy upon the men of the Eleventh Corps.  But were the men of the Eleventh Corps to blame for the disaster or were they simply a convenient scapegoat for the defeat?  Historian Donald Pfanz examines the maligned corps's actions during the battle and subsequent efforts by Joe Hooker and others to mask their own shortcomings by throwing responsibility for the defeat on the corps. 

  • The May 1863 Battles at Fredericksburg, Salem Church, and Banks’ Food by Erik Nelson

    • The The Chancellorsville story is a familiar one to students of the Civil War, but a significant part of the campaign has been misunderstood over the years. Part of the problem has been deliberately misleading source material, but a more substantial factor is that much of the related terrain has not been recognizable as a battlefield. Some of that ground is within the Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park (FSNMP), but not interpreted for the events of May 1863. Substantial acreage outside the FSNMP has been altered by development over the past century and a half. Historic ground outside the FSNMP that remains intact is hidden from view in obscure wooded areas that are difficult to get to. Developing a cohesive narrative of Second Fredericksburg, Salem Church, and Banks’ Ford required a thorough knowledge of the altered and sometimes hidden terrain and systematically matching historic source material to the altered ground. The resulting study shows how the Union army that emerged from the winter of 1862-63 had developed the capabilities that would triumph at Gettysburg just two months later.

6 p.m. Dinner provided.

 

7 p.m. Jackson, his staff and his family at Moss Neck and Belvoir by Gregory Mertz 

  • Immediately following the battle of Fredericksburg, Gen. Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson and his staff set up headquarters on the grounds of a spacious plantation house called “Moss Neck.”  The soldiers and their hosts soon developed deep friendships.  Jackson, with a daughter he had yet to see, apparently found the household’s five-year-old daughter Jane to be a surrogate for the new father.  One of Jackson’s staff fell in love with the eligible young woman living in the house.  As the weather warmed and campaigning became more likely, Jackson shifted headquarters to a home called “Belvoir” to be nearer to Lee.  There Jackson was reunited with his wife, met his daughter and enjoyed a nine-day visit interrupted by Union cannon fire inaugurating the Chancellorsville Campaign.                                                             

 

Annual Luhn Memorial Silent Auction closes following the last speaker. An announcement will be made.

 

 

Friday, July 29

· Bus leaves from Hampton Inn

· Lunch included

· Return by 5 p.m.

· Dinner on your own

8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. “Confederates Seize the Initiative and Make a Bold Move — May 1-2, 1863” bus and walking tour led by Greg Mertz

 

Activity Level 2: Practically every stop will be just off of the bus

 

Bus Tour Description:

On the first day of the battle of Chancellorsville, May 1, Confederate leaders Robert E. Lee and Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson wrestle the initiative away from Hooker and start to fight the battle in their style.  Then on the second day of fighting, the badly outnumbered Confederates exploit a weakness in the Federal line, driving back two miles of the Federal position in three hours, only to have Jackson fall from the mistaken fire of his own troops.  The tour visits the Day 1 battlefield, the place where Lee and Jackson held their “cracker box conference,” landmarks related to Jackson’s flank march and attack, and the site of Jackson’s wounding.   

 

Sites to visit:

  • Visitor Center

  • Bullock House

  • Zoan Church Ridge

  • Lee-Jackson Bivouac

  • Catharine Furnace

  • Jackson Flank Attach

  • Abandoned Union Works

  • Jackson Wounding

  • Ely’s Ford

 

Dinner on your own.

The rest of the evening is yours to explore the area.

 

Saturday, July 30

· Bus leaves from Hampton Inn

· Lunch included

· Return by 5 p.m.

· Dinner on your own

 

8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m. “The Fiercest Fighting of the Battle—May 3, 1863” bus and walking tour led by Greg Mertz

Activity Level 5: Many very short walks

Bus Tour Description:

Both armies commence offensive action on May 3, but from points twelve miles apart.  Union forces under John Sedgwick attack at Fredericksburg and unrealistically hoped to surprise Lee’s rear at Chancellorsville, where Lee and J.E.B. Stuart struck the Union forces at dawn to test the degree to which they had recovered from Jackson’s assault the day before.  The tour will visit sites of the “second” battle of Fredericksburg, Salem Church, Hazel Grove, Fairview and the Chancellorsville Inn.

 

Sites to visit:

  • Gibbon’s Attack

  • Newton and Burnham’s Attack

  • Howe’s Attack

  • Salem Church

  • Chancellorsville Inn

  • Union Works north of the turnpike

 

Dinner on your own.

7 to 9 p.m. Mix and Mingle—informal gathering for tour group  guests in the Homewood Suites conference room. Games, music and light refreshments. BYOB. Come and go as you like!

Sunday, July 30

· Bus leaves from Hampton Inn 8:30 a.m.

· Return by 12:30 p.m.

· Lunch not included

 

8:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. “Confederate Frustration and Despair—May 4-10, 1863” bus and walking tour led by Greg Mertz

 

Activity Level 4: The only way to see the  Smith Run battlefield is to take a walk, the single longest walk of the tour

 

Bus Tour Description:

Lee planned to mass three Confederate divisions to destroy Sedgwick’s corps, but was disappointed by the job done by his subordinates and felt his troops missed an opportunity on May 4.  Over the next week Jackson’s wounds seemed to be healing, but then pneumonia developed and Jackson’s weakened body succumbed.  The tour will conclude with visits to what is called the “Smith Run battlefield” and the “Stonewall” Jackson Death Site.

 

Sites to visit:

  • Smith Run Battlefield

  • Jackson Death Site

 

 Conference Completion by 12:30 p.m.

 

Thank you for your patronage!

EARLY BIRD PRICING:

Save $30 when you register for the Members or Non-Members Conference Package (the full conference) by May 31, 2022. Use code EARLYBIRD for Members or code EARLYBIRD1 for Non-Members when registering online.

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Payment Policy: Full payment is due prior to seminar.

Cancellation Policy: -Seminar registrations cancelled two weeks before a scheduled seminar are subject to a $100 per person administrative fee; cancellations received within two weeks will be charged 50% of the registration fee, including partial registrations or $100 (whichever is greater).

►  Chambersburg Civil War Seminars and Tours, in making arrangements for the transportation, accommodations and other services referred to herein, acts only as an agent for the owner or operator, and its responsibility is limited to that of an agent. By registering for the Chambersburg Civil War Seminars with registration form, online,  or phone call, participant or those traveling with you agrees to defend, indemnify and hold harmless the Greater Chambersburg Chamber of Commerce, and their agents, servants and employees, from and against any claim, cost, expense for liability (including attorney’s fees), attributable to bodily injury, sickness, disease, or death, or to damage to or destruction of property (including loss of use thereof) in connection with any accommodations, transportation or other travel services resulting directly or indirectly from any occurrences or condition beyond our control.

►  We reserve the right to make changes in the tours where necessary, due to unforeseen circumstances. We do not like to cancel tours but if we must cancel due to insufficient participation or other circumstances, our total obligation will be to refund all monies paid to us for the specific event.

►  We strive to accommodate all of our seminar participants. If you have ANY dietary restrictions, please tell us during registration so we can make the appropriate arrangements.

►  All photos/videos taken before, during, and after events are the property of Chambersburg Civil War Seminars & Tours. These will be used at the discretion of the organization and may be used for marketing and advertising purposes both online and in print.

 
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Chambersburg Civil War Seminars & Tours is an affiliate of the Greater Chambersburg Chamber of Commerce. The purpose of this partnership is to drive awareness about our local military heritage and support local businesses.

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