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Five Mile Fork in Spotsylvania County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Opening of the Campaign

Battle of Chancellorsville - 1863

 
 
Opening of the Campaign Marker image. Click for full size.
By Kevin W., April 28, 2008
1. Opening of the Campaign Marker
Inscription. Following its defeat at Fredericksburg in December 1862, the Union Army of the Potomac spent the winter in Stafford County. Across the Rappahannock River, Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia kept a defensive position that covered a 25-mile stretch of the river. In January 1863, President Lincoln promoted General Joseph Hooker to command the army opposite Fredericksburg and charged him with the defeat of Robert E. Lee.

On April 27, Hooker sent a force across the river below Fredericksburg in hopes of distracting the Confederate commander, while the remainder of his army marched north and west, crossed the Rapidan and Rappahannock rivers and moved in behind Lee. On April 30, the Union army began to concentrate at Chancellorsville, a former inn located the small crossroads near Chancellorsville.

Outnumbered two-to-one, Lee left a small defense at Fredericksburg and turned his attention toward the threat from the west. Confederates formed a line of defense upon the ridge that you are now standing and awaited the arrival of General Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson’s divisions. Once here, they would form a strong enough force to move forward against Hooker’s army at Chancellorsville. During the fighting that ensued, over 30,000 men became casualties, but Lee won what has been considered his greatest victory of
Opening of the Campaign Marker image. Click for full size.
By Kevin W.
2. Opening of the Campaign Marker
the war.
 
Location. 38° 17.534′ N, 77° 34.306′ W. Marker is in Five Mile Fork, Virginia, in Spotsylvania County. Marker is on Plank Road/Germanna Highway (Virginia Route 3) near Harrison Road, on the right when traveling west. Click for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 5701 Plank Road, Fredericksburg VA 22407, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Roads Through the Battlefield (here, next to this marker); McCarty Farm (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); Confederate Defense Turns to Offense (about 500 feet away); Spotswood’s Furnace (about 600 feet away); Earthworks (approx. 0.2 miles away); First Day at Chancellorsville (approx. one mile away); a different marker also named First Day at Chancellorsville (approx. one mile away); a different marker also named First Day at Chancellorsville (approx. 1.2 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Five Mile Fork.
 
More about this marker. On the lower left of the marker are portraits of the Union and Confederate commanders at Chancellorsville during the battle. Their captions read as follows:

Maj. General Joseph Hooker
Despite commanding an army of 160,000, Joseph Hooker suffered a stinging defeat in Spotsylvania
Union and Confederate Commanders at the Opening of the Campaign image. Click for full size.
By Kevin W., April 28, 2008
3. Union and Confederate Commanders at the Opening of the Campaign
County and was removed from command the following month.

General Robert E. Lee
Lee’s army of 60,000 outmaneuvered its enemy at Chancellorsvile, but suffered 13,000 casualties, or 22% of his army.
 
Regarding Opening of the Campaign. This marker is grouped with the markers along McLaws Drive, Furnace Road, Sickles Drive, East Jackson Trail, and others on the east side of the battlefield. See the First Days of the Battle of Chancellorsville Virtual Tour by Markers in the links section for a listing of related markers on the tour.
 
Also see . . .
1. Battle of Chancellorsville. National Parks Service site. (Submitted on May 2, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.) 

2. First Days of the Battle of Chancellorsville Virtual Tour by Markers. This virtual tour by markers covers action from May 1-3, 1863. (Submitted on May 2, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.) 
 
Categories. War, US Civil
 
Detail of map on the Opening of the Campaign Marker image. Click for full size.
By Kevin W., April 28, 2008
4. Detail of map on the Opening of the Campaign Marker
April 27-30, 1863 – Lee remained in Fredericksburg, uncertain as to Hooker’s intent. Meanwhile, the Union army swept westward, crossed two rivers and descended on Chancellorsville.
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,035 times since then and 21 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on , by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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