Chancellorsville

Chancellorsville

by Stephen W. Sears
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Chancellorsville 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Guest More than 1 year ago
I began reading Chancellorville on an airplane ride back to Texas after visiting Gettysburg and reading Sear's Gettysburg book. Sears details the events of the week long battle, which has become known as Robert E. Lee's masterpiece campaign. Sears focusses primarily on command decisions and mistakes within the Northern command and how they were most responsible for their defeat. It is another great Sear's campaign study intended for the military history lover, not the general reader. Sears does a great job of mapping the thinking of Hooker, Meade, Sedwick, and the other Union generals of the campaign, but rich lively description is not his style. I enjoyed the book, and I think all in all its a pretty balanced account. One criticism that I would offer though, Sears seems to draw much more heavily from Northern sources in his campaign studies than from Southern ones. You get a great sense of the battle from the Northern perspective, but I feel like he doesn't do as good of a job putting you in the minds of the Southern generals and command. Perhaps he feels that there is already plenty written of Lee and Jackson's strategies and conceptions of Chancellorsville, and he has a job to set the record straight on Hooker's perspectives of the campaign. I don't think his book suffers as a result, but I would not call his account the definitive version of Chancellorsville. Indeed, such a definitive version may not exist. In the final analysis, if you are interested in this great battle of the Civil War, you will not go wrong with this book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Sears clarifies a number of military issues related to this battle including communications, intelligence, cavalry, chain-of-command, and timing. General Hooker receives an impartial review from the author and changes my impression of Hooker's impact on the Army of the Potomac and the US military. Union and Confederate perspectives equally and fully presented. Very readable and understandable.