Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies: General John Sedgwick's Account of the Battle of Chancellorsville (Illustrated)by John Sedgwick
From December 26, 1862, he briefly led the II Corps and the IX Corps, and then finally the VI Corps of the Army of the
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John Sedgwick (September 13, 1813 – May 9, 1864) was a teacher, a career military officer, and a Union Army general in the Civil War who performed capably but (unfortunately for him) is often best remembered for the way he died.
From December 26, 1862, he briefly led the II Corps and the IX Corps, and then finally the VI Corps of the Army of the Potomac, which he commanded until his death in 1864. During the Battle of Chancellorsville, his corps faced Fredericksburg in an initial holding action while Maj. Gen. Joseph Hooker's other four corps maneuvered against Robert E. Lee's left flank. He was slow to take action, but eventually crossed the Rappahannock River and assaulted Maj. Gen. Jubal Early's small force on Marye's Heights. Moving west slowly to join forces with Hooker and trap Lee between the halves of the army, he was stopped by elements of Lee's Second Corps (under Maj. Gen. J.E.B. Stuart, following the wounding of Jackson) at Salem Church, forcing his eventual retreat back over the Rappahannock.
Sedgwick’s death is the stuff of legends. One of the highest ranking Union casualties in the Civil War, he was killed by a sniper at the Battle of Spotsylvania Court House. As his men ducked down to avoid sniper fire, he implored them that it was safe, telling them, “They couldn't hit an elephant at this distance." Seconds later, he was struck by a sniper shot through the eye and killed.
Since he died during the war, the only primary accounts Sedgwick gave were in his official reports, dispatches and post-battle accounts, many of which were preserved in The War of the Rebellion: Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies. This edition of his account of the Battle of Chancellorsville includes illustrations and maps of the Chancellorsville Campaign, and it also includes pictures of the important commanders of the battle.
- Charles River Editors
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