2nd Manassas - Aug. 1862
The Battle of Chancellorsville - May 1st to May 5th, 1863
The Costs of Victory

Chancellorsville cannons
Witness to the palpable horrors that flowed through these fields in early May of 1863, a single cannon now silently peers into the vacant, still distance. As if awaiting once again the thrust of the outnumbered Confederate Soldiers who overtook this Union position on the grounds of the Chancellor House, it serves to remind those who now visit here of what each soldier faced as they went forward into battle. The countless sacrifices of this great war, begun two long and costly years previous, continued as over 30,000 casualties paid for their convictions during the Battle of Chancellorsville.

As the battle wound down, a Confederate made this observation about the conflict and their beloved General. "The Chancellorsville house and the woods surrounding it were wrapped in flames. In the midst of this awful scene, Gen. Lee ... rode to the front of his advancing battalions. His presence was the signal for one of those uncontrollable outbursts of enthusiasm which none can appreciate who have not witnessed them. The fierce soldiers, with their faces blackened with the smoke of battle; the wounded, crawling with feeble limbs from the fury of the devouring flames, all seem possessed with a common impulse. One long, unbroken cheer, in which the feeble cry of those who lay helpless on the earth blended with the strong voices of those who still fought, rose high above the roar of battle... [Lee] sat in the full realisation of all that soldiers dream of-triumph; and as I looked upon him in the complete fruition of the success which his genius, courage and confidence in his army had won, I thought it must have been from some such a scene that men in ancient days ascended to the dignity of the gods." [A,30]

This was General Lee's greatest victory. Many today believe that his success here, against a much larger and better armed force, led to convincing him of the near invincibility of his Army. His beliefs, spawned on this battlefield, would impact how he approached his next campaign in a small Pennsylvania town named Gettysburg.

Wounded after the Battle of Chancellorsville