Thursday, May 25, 2006

Chancellorsville Lee's Greatest Battle by Edward J. Stackpole

Chancellorsville Lee's Greatest Battle by Edward J. Stackpole originally published in 1958 this work is considered to be a classic of Civil War history. An often lively account of the Chancellorsville campaign. It does not disappoint. The author describes the movements of the various forces in this battle which was one of the more confusing of the Civil War. Also puts forward a reason for why fighting Joe Hooker didn't at Chancellorsville.

Of particular interest is that the author obviously visited the battlefield and throughout the text mentions examples of how it is changed in the intervening 90 years since the battle. The underbrush which was such an important factor in the battles fought around this area actually expanded its hold on the land in the intervening time. Which considering the march of progress is rather surprising.

Unfortunately the work only occasionally mentions the sources from which it cites. There is no endnotes and only a partial bibliography. All that being said it is a excellent read. A welcome anecdote to the occasionally dry military history that in my education I have to inflict upon myself.

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