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The first book-length study of two overlooked engagements that helped turned the tide of a pivotal Civil War battle.
By May of 1863, the stone wall at the base of Marye’s Heights above Fredericksburg, Virginia, loomed large over the Army of the Potomac, haunting its men with memories of slaughter from their crushing defeat there the previous December. They would assault it again with a very different result the following spring. This time the Union troops wrested the wall and high ground from the Confederates and drove west into the enemy’s rear. The inland drive stalled in heavy fighting at Salem Church. Chancellorsville’s Forgotten Front is the first book to examine Second Fredericksburg and Salem Church and the central roles they played in the final Southern victory.
Authors Chris Mackowski and Kristopher D. White have long appreciated the pivotal roles these engagements played in the Chancellorsville campaign, and just how close the Southern army came to grief—and the Union army to stunning success. Together they seamlessly weave their extensive newspaper, archival, and firsthand research into a compelling narrative to better understand these combats, which usually garner little more than a footnote to the larger story of Stonewall Jackson’s march and fatal wounding.
Chancellorsville’s Forgotten Front offers a thorough examination of the decision-making, movements, and fighting that led to the bloody stalemate at Salem Church, as Union soldiers faced the horror of an indomitable wall of stone—and an undersized Confederate division stood up to a Union juggernaut.
Publisher: Savas Beatie