"Chancellorsville" Who should have fallen on his sword for failure?

"Chancellorsville" One Must Fall on His sword But which?

  • General Hooker- assuming retreat

    Votes: 33 62.3%
  • General Sickles- poor recon..

    Votes: 1 1.9%
  • General Devens- ignoring reports

    Votes: 2 3.8%
  • General Von Gilsa- not securing the union flank

    Votes: 3 5.7%
  • Hooker Staff Officers for ignoring and not informing Hooker

    Votes: 5 9.4%
  • Other: There is always another opinion....

    Votes: 9 17.0%

  • Total voters
    53
Joined
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#21
Leaving a large detachment under Sedwick in front of Fredericksburg, Hooker marched a flanking column around, and, behind the Confederates. Lee left a small unit to met Sedwick and marched westward to meet Hooker. Hooker, dropped the inititive and entrenched at Chancellorsville at the Chancellorsville Inn. Lee again divided his army, sending Stonewall Jackson on May 02 out to flank Hooker's right. If one evaluates the battle map of the day, Jackson left the biovouac on Furnance Road, over to Brock Road, past the Burton Farm, and, up to Plank Road (above Orange Plank Road). The attack and severe fighting on May 03 drove Hooker back to a rear position, the apex of his line being located on Elys Ford Road. His last recourse was the Rappahanock and Rapidan Rivers by way of U.S. Ford Road. Reminded me of Moses being trapped at the Red Sea!! With the confusion of the day, there was certainly enough of blame to go all way around...Hooker first, the Staff coming in second. When Jackson approached Lee at three in the morning on May 02 and asked for the troops he needed, Lee thought a moment, agreed, knowing the risk and ended the conversation with "Well, go on then." He had to trust Jackson. I doubt there was much of an "element of surprise" and thus, the Union troops were routed, fair and square.
 

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#22
I've always suspected Hookers decision was based on the assumption that once Lee realizied that the AOP was on his left rear he would do the correct thing and pull back to the next river. Hooker wanted to give Lee time to pull away from the high ground so the AOP could either catch the ANV in transit and be easy pickings or the AOP could simply assume Lees old position and claim an easy victory. In either case Hooker would have held onto the inititive. Hooker not only remembered Fredricksburg but Antietam as well.
 

carson_reb

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#24
While I think Howard made a grevious error in not digging in and leaving the flank open and vulnerable, I agree with Brass that, ultimately, the buck stops at the top. S--- may roll down hill, but the buck always stops at the top. Hooker was on the hook for the loss...pun intended. :smile:

I guess my vote goes to both Hooker and Howard for poor preparation of contingencies, and very poor judgment in making assumptions about recon.
 
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#25
Hooker.
He lost it when Lee did the unexpected and moved troops into position to block the advance of the lead Union troops. Of course Hooker was the only one the thought it was an unexpected move as he thought Lee would have to retreat and the Union forces would be able to catch the ANV in the open and use its superior numbers to crush it.
 
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#26
I chose 'Other' because the debacle at Chancellorsville was caused by a number of factors and failures on the part of Hooker and the Union leadership.
 
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#27
I chose 'Other' because the debacle at Chancellorsville was caused by a number of factors and failures on the part of Hooker and the Union leadership.
Yes, all great blunders are a series of missteps or misjudgment which several union officers did do at Chancellorsville but there must be one blunder that stands out among the others and General Devens is the one...
 

kel1985

2nd Lieutenant
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#31
Ultimately the blame falls on the commanding officer, Hooker.
However, there is plenty of blame to go around with Chancellorsville.
Hooker should have been relieved of command when he was concussed.
The right flank should have been secured.
Reports should have been made regarding Jackson's movement (not noticed or noticed not reported properly?).
 

Carronade

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#32
Should have also included Lincoln. He'd have my vote
For putting Hooker in command, I presume? He'd performed well up to corps level, he did a great job reorganizing the AofP, and his flank march at C'ville was the best and most threatening maneuver ever executed against the ANV. He was aggressive and gave attention to detail; there was little reason to think he would make the errors he did on May 1 and 2.
 

Pat Young

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#33
If one looks at Lee's Chancellorsville victory, it is more about what the union leadership did wrong then what Lee did right on the day of Jackson's great flanking move. During Jackson's march around to the union right, he was seen numerous times an the appropriate commanders were informed but nothing was acted on the information. Whom does the fault fall on in the union leadership for not acting on the information about the confederates movement towards the union's right on Day2?

First was General Hooker, whom thought the Jackson movement was the beginning of the Confederate's retreat form Chancellorsville in the face of a superior force. He did have some doubts thou...

Second was General Sickles, if he had led his troops that incepted the end of Jackson line of march. He would have seen that Jackson was not retreating but on an organized focus march.

Third was General Devens, whom was numerously informed that a confederate force was moving before him and choose to ignore it.

Forth was General Von Gilsa, whom did not originally secure the right flank of the union line.

Fifth was Hooker's staff, who turn away numerous officers trying bring Hooker information about confederate movements on his right flank.

Chancellorsville battle should be dissected as Gettysburg as to why the union lost the battle as Gettysburg is on why confederates lost that battle.

Whom should have falling on their sword for failing to act on the information about Jackson's movement towards the union's right flank?

A thought...
No Howard?
 

jackt62

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#35
I've always suspected Hookers decision was based on the assumption that once Lee realizied that the AOP was on his left rear he would do the correct thing and pull back to the next river. Hooker wanted to give Lee time to pull away from the high ground so the AOP could either catch the ANV in transit and be easy pickings or the AOP could simply assume Lees old position and claim an easy victory. In either case Hooker would have held onto the inititive. Hooker not only remembered Fredricksburg but Antietam as well.
Right! Hooker's plan was actually bold in its strategic initiative. But its execution was flawed. Not only did Hooker not count on Lee standing his ground rather than withdrawing, but Lee confronted the AOTP at the worst possible location for the federals. Once Hooker's plan was forestalled by Lee in the Wilderness, Hooker quickly revised his offensive plan to a purely defensive one. The outcome of the battle was then just a matter of time.
 
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#36
Howard for going sight seeing rather than securing the right flank of the AoP
That's not what Howard did. Convinced that Hooker had more information re. the then still-open question if Lee was retreating or flanking, Howard accompanied his reserve brigade under Barlow to the point Sickles indicated. Finding no real battle there, he immediately returned to Dowdall's. During his absence, Schurz was in charge, and despite what he later said, he did nothing to prepare for an attack from the west.
 
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#37
[QUOTE="Nathanb1, post: 189504, member: 2666"t sitting there watching a bunch of animals run through your camp like a scene from Bambi (and not doing anything until the Confederates are literally eating your barbeque off the spit?

This isn't an accurate description of what transpired.
 
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#40
Howard did not ignore Comstock's recommendations. You can read about the specific measures he took in both his report of the battle and in his autobiography. After the fizzle on May 1, Hooker ordered him to face south because he was convinced that if Lee attacked (and Mr. FJH didn't really believe he would), it would be from the south and east.
 



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