The Battle of Fredericksburg falls in a long list of failures of the Army of the Potomac during the first year of the American Civil War. Following the Battle of Antietam the Northern Army had the opportunity to defeat Lee’s army. However, Northerners, were shocked by Lee’s escape following this battle on 17 September 1862, and were further upset by Major General George B. McClellan’s procrastination in pursuing Lee and allowing General J.E.B. Stuarts daring cavalry raid into Pennsylvania around Gettysburg (10-12 October 1862). McClellan’s failure to pursue Lee’s Army is mainly due to his own lack of confidence, believing that he doesn’t have enough men or material in order to defeat the Army of Virginia. President Lincoln had finally
He moved forward toward the Confederate capital in Richmond. This allowed General Robert E. Lee to collect his soldiers in Fredericksburg. In the Battle of Fredericksburg Burnside made many horrible and failed attacks on Lee’s armies. Lee had gained another Confederate victory with almost 13,000 Union deaths.
Civil War historians view the Battle of Chancellorsville as General Robert E. Lee’s “greatest and most remarkable” victory (Sears 1). Lee, facing an army twice his size, defies all military doctrine and divides his army multiple times in order to out-maneuver and surprise the Union forces. The daring maneuver succeeds and ultimately forces the Union’s Army of the Potomac to retreat. The victory was another major blow to Union troops, but it came at a huge cost to the Confederacy: the loss of General Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson. By evaluating the battle through the lens of the mission command activities, one can see how Lee’s daring maneuver was actually very calculated and his only option for victory. Throughout the rest of this paper, I will describe the timeline of the battle and how General Lee used the mission command activities of understand, visualize, assess, and lead to ultimately achieve victory at Chancellorsville.
The battle took place in the tangled woods of what is now Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Park about 10 miles west of Fredericksburg, Virginia along Orange Plank Road and Orange Turnpike. The Federals held the land to the east and the confederates to the west. The land was nearly impassable, proving a nightmare for both moving men and logistics. The importance of the location, however, was significant. Railways and roads led to Washington and were logistically important. For two years, fighting for the land surrounding the Rappahannock and Rapidan rivers led to stalemate. Twice previously, Lee had been able to withstand attack from the Federals; attacks led by Joseph Hooker and George Meade. Lee’s plan was, likely, to take Washington, which he believed would decidedly win
The Seven Days Campaign of 1862 was a sequence of battles that took place along the Virginia Peninsula east of Richmond, between the Union Army of the Potomac and the Confederate Virginia Army from 26 June through 2 July. The campaign consisted of the following six battles: Mechanicsville, Gaines ' Mill, and Savage Station, engagement at Oak Swamp Bridge, and battles of Frazier 's Farm and Malvern Hill over a seven-day period. Major General George B. McClellan led the Union Army of nearly 104,000 soldiers, while the newly appointed commander, General Robert Edward Lee led the Confederate Army of nearly 92,000 soldiers during this campaign. General Lee’s major objective was to protect and defend the City of Richmond against the Union Army. General Lee’s usage of the mission command principles and battlefield management during the Seven Days Campaign secured a quick and significant victory for the Army of Northern Virginia, and drove the Major General McClellan Union troops to retreat down the Virginia Peninsula. His ability to build a cohesive team through mutual trust, provide a clear commander’s intent, create shared understanding, and accept prudent risk led to the successful defense of Richmond. General Lee’s triumph in those seven days remains among the most important battles in the Army of Northern Virginia’s history as it served as a turning point in the Civil War.
This turning point would soon cause great controversy about Longstreet. Shortly before the battle, Longstreet’s spy, Harrison, told him that the Union army was only a few miles away. Hence, on July 1, the first day of the battle, Longstreet arrived at the field in the afternoon; once at the battlefield, he met with General Robert E. Lee to discuss strategies. General Longstreet’s plan was to swing around the Union army, stand between Meade and Washington (the Union capital), and then let the Union attack. On the other hand, as opposed to Longstreet’s defensive strategy, General Lee wanted to attack the Union left, early the next morning. Although Longstreet greatly disagreed with Lee’s decision to attack at Gettysburg, he obeyed. The next day, however, Longstreet was not prepared to attack as early as planned; he instead waited and ended up having to take a long detour that resulted as lack of preparation. On day two, Confederate troops suffered many casualties, and Longstreet, who was exhausted, did not speak with Lee to discuss plans. On day three, Lee had initially planned for Longstreet to attack early in the morning. However, with that plan now dismissed, Lee told Longstreet to attack the center of the Union line. Longstreet argued that this plan would fail, and attempted to have General A.P. Hill lead the charge instead; eventually, however, he obeyed. As expected by Longstreet, Pickett’s Charge failed badly. Several
The Civil war cut our nation in two, Americans fighting Americans, brother against brother. A key battle fought westward was the turning point in the war: the Battle of Vicksburg.
Over the course of several years there were thousands of battles fought in the American Civil war. Many of these battles were fought at the same time throughout the country. Two of these battles in particular ended at the same time, The fall of Vicksburg and the Battle of Gettysburg. The Union won both of these Battles, giving them an advantage over the south. These 2 defeats gave the union the upper hand because the south retreated and that was the last time they attacked the north. They retreated from gettysburg to vicksburg.
This paper will examine the Battle of Fredericksburg through the research of analytical papers, historical articles and technical reports by conducting the four steps of battle analysis. It will analyze the effects of the use and dismissal of intelligence assets and disciplines when applied to the planning of a territorial battle campaign. Using terrain analysis it will discuss how the choice of advantageous terrain can sway the outcome of a battle. It will also discuss how timing and momentum can be critical to our overall military planning. Finally, it will present an alternative outcome to the battle by establishing the utilization of intelligence assets available to both commanding generals and how altering critical decision points would have presented a significantly different result.
One of the boldest actions of Maj. Gen. James Ewell Brown Stuart under the leadership of Robert E. Lee was his effort to make "a complete circuit around the Union Army, heading to the north end of the lower peninsula (near the York River) and returning to Richmond along the James." . Allowing Stuart to make this move was one of the first decisions of Robert E. Lee, who had just replaced the more cautious Gen. Joseph E. Johnston as the leader of the Confederates. "In the aftermath of the inconclusive battle," led by Johnson "Lee suspected that the right flank of McClellan's army was 'in the air' not anchored to any natural formation, and thus vulnerable to attack. To be certain, he decided to send Stuart to reconnoiter."
The site chosen by Lee had many advantages for his military. The terrain provided his troops cover behind fences and limestone. Furthermore, the woods and swales allowed men to maneuver around the enemy without behind seen. Antietam creek flowed between the Confederate and Union armies. If the Army of the Potomac were to attack, they would have to cross one of the three stone bridges. The only disadvantage to Lee was the single escape route. Since the Potomac River blocked the Confederate rear with only one crossing point, Lee did not have a great retreat plan. General Lee divided his Army into the right and left wings commanded by Major General James Longstreet and Major General Thomas J. Jackson respectively. Each wing guarded their respective flank. In the north, General Jones’ and General Hood’s divisions would eventually fight Gibbon’s Iron Brigade.
General J.E.B Stuart is the cavalry leader assigned by General Lee to recon the movements of the Union army. Stuart rode too far north and was absent for most of the battle. Lee was left with no Intel on the Union army and was fighting in unfamiliar Northern territory. With no information about the movements of the Union army or the surrounding area strategic planning was
from April 29 to May 6, 1863 as part of the Civil War. To be more precise, the battle of Chancellorsville took place in the vicinity of Fredericksburg where other two battles took place. The Confederate army was led by General Robert E. Lee, while the Union army was led by Major General Joseph Hooker. Impressively, General Hooker’s army was composed with as many as 130,000 soldiers. The Union army was very well trained, equipped, and had all odds in favor. The Union army was two times as big as that of General Robert E. Lee, whose army was composed of merely 60,000-65,000 Confederate soldiers. Of these, 30,000 soldiers were from General Stonewall
The battle of Yorktown was an accidental battle. George Washington was wanting to attack New York with the French fleet. But he found out that the French fleet was sailing for Chesapeake Bay. Washington set up some large brick bread ovens and a large camp to make the British think that Washington’s army was planning on staying. Then Washington let false plans fall into British hands to make them think that Washington was planning an attack. With French general Rochambeau sailing down the river, the French fleet sailing for Chesapeake Bay and Marquis De Lafayette keeping Cornwallis holed up in Yorktown General Washington planned to meet with Rochambeau and Lafayette hoping that the French fleet would be blockading Cornwallis from escape. Clinton