Do you think the Union army could have held Chancellorsville on May 3rd IF they had not evacuated Hazel Grove?

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Could Chancellorsville have been held if Hazel Grove was not evacuated by Sickles' III Corps?


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General JJ

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I'm rereading Stephen Sears book Chancellorsville right now, and I'm wondering if that crucial bit of high ground had not been evacuated, could the Union have held the Chancellorsville crossroads? I'm sure you guys know more than me, so what do you think?
 

JeffBrooks

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Yes, I think so. It was the artillery support from Hazel Grove that allowed the Confederate attacks on the third day to succeed. The abandonment of Hazel Grove was one of the worst tactical decisions of the entire war.
 
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Andy Cardinal

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I don't think holding Hazel Grove was crucial. The Army of the Potomac still had a chance after the high ground was surrendered. I can't imagine Lee's army winning an all-out frontal assault against a strongly entrenched position.

As the map shows (I posted earlier on another thread), perhaps the Army of the Potomac's greatest opportunity came while the Confederates were focused on the high ground if Hooker had allowed Meade & Reynolds to attack as they requested. The Army of the Potomac did not have too many opportunities like this during the war.

chancellorsville_map_3a.jpg


A strong attack by Meade's 5th Corps supported by Reynolds's 1st Corps could habe done some real damage to Stuart's command and might have led to a decisive Union victory.
 
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