When: May 8th
Where: Otterbein University, Towers Hall 3rd floor. Room 318. Westerville Ohio 43081. Please go to the “About the COCWRT” tab for more information.
Speaker: Kristopher White
Topic: America’s Second Bloodiest Day: The Third Day at Chancellorsville.
Kristopher White is a historian for the Penn-Trafford Recreation Board and a continuing education instructor for the Community College of Allegheny County near Pittsburgh, PA. White is a graduate of Norwich University with a MA in Military History, as well as a graduate of California University of Pennsylvania with a BA in History. For five years he served as a staff military historian at Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park, where he still volunteers his services. For a short time he was a member of the Association of Licensed Battlefield Guides at Gettysburg. Over the past seven years, he has spoken to more than 40 roundtables and historical societies.
He is the author and co-author of numerous articles that have appeared in America’s Civil War, Blue and Gray, Civil War Times, and Armchair General. White co-authored The Last Days of Stonewall Jackson with longtime friend Chris Mackowski. The two have authored numerous articles and books together including a book-length study of the Second Battle of Fredericksburg and Salem Church entitled Chancellorsville’s Forgotten Front: The Battles of Second Fredericksburg and Salem Chruch, May 3, 1863. The duos are currently working on a micro-tactical study of the third day at Chancellorsville.
“And Then the Circus Commenced: The Third Day at Chancellorsville.” Too often the Battle of Chancellorsville is lumped into two major events; Stonewall Jackson’s famed flank attack of May 2, 1863; and Jackson’s wounding and subsequent death eight days later. There is much more to this story than meets the eye. As morning dawned on May 3, 1863 the outcome of the Battle of Chancellorsville was still very much in doubt. Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia was split in three pieces; Yankees were to his front, center, and rear. Without either of his trusted lieutenants at hand, Longstreet or Jackson, the wily Confederate commander looked to bring his army back together and fall upon Joseph Hooker’s Army of the Potomac. Three major engagements took place on May 3rd, one at the Chancellorsville Crossroads, another on the old Fredericksburg battlefield, and the last near a small country church. In intense fightingthe two army’s sustained more than 21,000 casualties in just one day, making May 3rd the second bloodiest day of the war, and changing the makeup of the combatants forever.
Throughout the evening, we will explore the actions of both sides as they looked to best one another. We will examine the decision making from Lee and Hooker down, while at the same time look at how Hooker allowed a certain victory to slip through his fingers. We will close by looking at the far reaching impact the day had on both army’s