Sears describes the series of controversial events that define this crucial battle, including General Robert E. Lee's radical decision to divide his small army--a violation of basic military rules--sending Stonewall Jackson on his famous march around the Union army flank. Jackson's death--accidentally shot by one of his own soldiers--is one of the many fascinating stories included in this definitive account of the battle of Chancellorsville.
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Many Civil War buffs have called the battle of Chancellorsville Robert E. Lee's greatest victory; Stephen W. Sears doesn't necessarily agree, and in this painstakingly researched book, he offers ample evidence that Lee had luck on his side in the battle. Lee was a great general all right, and his men did fight savagely. But the notion that Union General Joseph Hooker was inept is cast into doubt by Sears, who describes the action of Chancellorsville as most great battle books do--hour by hour. This book is the finest rendition of the battle yet and an interesting thesis for Civil War discussion. Lee's penchant for aggressiveness and his faith in his troops as unbeatable may have worked at Chancellorsville, but Sears argues that these alone couldn't win the war. Lee learned this lesson too, a month later at Gettysburg.About the Author:
STEPHEN W. SEARS is the author of many award-winning books on the Civil War, including Gettysburg and Landscape Turned Red. The New York Times Book Review has called him "arguably the preeminent living historian of the war's eastern theater." He is a former editor for American Heritage.
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