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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Chancellor in Spotsylvania County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

First Day at Chancellorsville

The Confederate Flank Attack

 
 
First Day at Chancellorsville Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, August 24, 2008
1. First Day at Chancellorsville Marker
Inscription. The enemy were in force in my immediate front... the country was favorable for a flank attack."
- Gen. Lafayette McLaws

"Flanked!" one of the most feared words in any army. It meant that the enemy positioned upon the end of your line could fire down its length while only a few of your troops could fire back.

From where you now stand, Confederate forces under Gen. Lafayette McLaws poured a devastating fire into the Union troops. McLaws's job was to hold the Federals in his front while his commander, Gen. Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson, "would endeavor to gain the rear of the enemy." Jackson did just that. Troops from Gen. Robert E. Rodes's division, advancing with Jackson on the Plank Road, wheeled to the right, crashed through the thick woods, and bore down on the Union flank - a preview of what Jackson would achieve on a much larger scale the next day.
 
Erected 2008 by Virginia Civil War Trails.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Virginia Civil War Trails marker series.
 
Location. 38° 17.73′ N, 77° 35.339′ W. Marker is in Chancellor, Virginia, in Spotsylvania County. Marker can be reached from Plank Road / Germanna Highway (State Highway 3), on the right
Help Preserve Chancellorsville image. Click for more information.
2. Help Preserve Chancellorsville
CWPT efforts to save the battlefield.
Click for more information.
when traveling west. Touch for map. Located along the Civil War Preservation Trust's walking trail through the First Day at Chancellorsville Battlefield. Marker is in this post office area: Fredericksburg VA 22407, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. A different marker also named First Day at Chancellorsville (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); a different marker also named First Day at Chancellorsville (approx. 0.2 miles away); a different marker also named First Day at Chancellorsville (approx. ¼ mile away); a different marker also named First Day at Chancellorsville (approx. 0.4 miles away); Chancellorsville Campaign (approx. 0.4 miles away); a different marker also named First Day at Chancellorsville (approx. 0.6 miles away); a different marker also named First Day at Chancellorsville (approx. 0.7 miles away); Spotswood’s Furnace (approx. 0.8 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Chancellor.
 
More about this marker. On the lower left a set of portraits is captioned: The leaders who turned the tide of the Chancellorsville Campaign: Confederate Gens. Lafayette McLaws and Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson.

A map on the right details the action: Brigades under Gens. William T. Wofford and Edward
Battle Map image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, August 24, 2008
3. Battle Map
Note the north seeking arrow points to the right of this map.
A. Perry defended the Confederate right flank while Gen. Robert E. Rodes's division advanced through the Wilderness on the opposite side of the Orange Turnpike to your left.

 
Also see . . .
1. First Day at Chancellorsville. An animated map of the first day's battle from Civil War Preservation Trust. Also links to several excellent resources about the battle. The action described on this marker is roughly occurring at the 1:45 p.m. mark on the animation's time line. (Submitted on September 13, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.) 

2. Battle of Chancellorsville. National Park Service page about the battle. (Submitted on September 13, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.) 
 
Categories. War, US Civil
 
The <i>Confederate Flank Attack</i> Wayside image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, August 24, 2008
4. The Confederate Flank Attack Wayside
McLaws's Line image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, August 24, 2008
5. McLaws's Line
Mahone's Brigade, part of McLaws's line, held the ground on the east side of the ridge spur near the Leitch farm house. The position of the marker is roughly the center of Mahone's line of Virginia regiments.
Wofford's Flank March image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, August 24, 2008
6. Wofford's Flank March
Looking east from the ridge spur. A modern road to the housing sub-division north of the preserved battlefield, traverses a creek bed on the left. Wofford's Brigade, made up of the 16th, 18th, and 24th Georgia Infantry along with Cobb's and Phillips' Legion Infantry, advanced along the east side of that creek. Their line of march took them to the north (left), around the Federal flanks. Perry's and Wilcox's Brigades took routes further to the east for their marches. That ground is now part of a major housing subdivision.
Federal Left Flank image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, August 24, 2008
7. Federal Left Flank
Looking from the ridge spur to the west. Ayres' Brigade of U.S. Regulars (the 3rd, 4th, 12th and 14th U.S. Infantry) came on line with Burbank's Brigade. Their advance came up through the low ground in the center distance here, and against Mahone's exposed right flank. However, Ayres' flank was then hanging out, unsupported. This view also demonstrates just how close the encroaching development has gotten to the battlefield area.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on September 13, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,292 times since then and 57 times this year. Photos:   1. submitted on September 13, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.   2. submitted on March 13, 2009, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.   3, 4, 5, 6, 7. submitted on September 13, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.
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