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Chancellorsville 1863: The Souls of the Brave

4.2  ·  Rating Details ·  133 Ratings  ·  11 Reviews
For 130 years historians and military strategists have been obsessed by the battle of Chancellorsville. It began with an audaciously planned stroke by Union general Joe Hooker as he sent his army across the Rappahannock River and around Robert E. Lee's lines. It ended with that same army fleeing back in near total disarray -- and Hooker's reputation in ruins.

This splendid
Hardcover, 405 pages
Published October 13th 1992 by Knopf (first published 1992)
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Nov 05, 2015 Greg rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, military
Good, thorough examination of the Battle of Chancellorsville in the American Civil War. Furgurson mixes in some first-hand accounts from regular soldiers and lower-level officers, somewhat like what Lyn MacDonald did in her excellent books about the British forces in World War I. Particularly entertaining are the Union officers' remarks about General Hooker and his drinking habits.

Those habits are key, because as the book makes clear (spoiler alert if you don't know much about the ACW), Hooker s
Mar 07, 2013 Vince rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Next to Stephen Sears' "Chancellorsville" this is the best account of the campaign that I have read. Ferguson provides enough background material on the major commanders and armies based on the previous Fredericksburg Campaign to give a smooth transition into this first major contest of 1863 in the Eastern Theater. The author also liberally cites from letters, memoirs and on-field communication reports.The common foot soldier as well as commanders get their due in this crisply written read. The ...more
Dec 02, 2015 Tim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Alas, "Chancellorsville 1863," I enjoyed your company greatly but left you for another. I read Ernest B. Furgurson's excellent account of possibly the most interesting Civil War battle well before Stephen Sears' absolutely great "Chancellorsville," written later. Considering Sears' book among the best Civil War battle/campaign books ever written, I foolishly decided I needed only one Chancellorsville book and said goodbye to Furgurson's years ago, consigning it to a used bookstore and into other ...more
Joan Colby
Jan 04, 2011 Joan Colby rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This battle account is ranked No. 5 on a list of all-time best Civil War non-fiction books and rightly so. It is extremely detailed but that aids in allowing the reader to perceive the battle as it took place over a period of three days. Alan and I found it of interest because we both had great-grandfathers who were killed in this battle; his on the Union side and mine on the Confederate. The characters of Lee and Jackson are well-drawn as is that of Hooker who ended up being castigated for his ...more
Furgurson's retelling of the familiar Chancellorsville story is an homage to the enlisted men who suffered through the epic campaign. His best writing is a description of the titanic struggle for the Union breastworks on May 3, complete with vivid illustrations of combat that will follow the reader for days. If his conclusion smacks of some trite and overly simplistic Gettysburg analysis, it nonetheless serves to tie together a tremendous story brilliantly told.
George Anderson
Jun 07, 2016 George Anderson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a fresh, lucid and enjoyable treatment of the epic battle. His ancestral ties to the battle brought out the best of his writing and reporter's talent. Talents which seem to have been wasted combating the progressive atrophy of reason so often seen in the print of his one time employer, the Baltimore Sun.
Jun 27, 2013 Paul rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Currently, one of only two complete battle studies of the Chancellorsville campaign (Sears' book being the other). Both are excellent books and provide the reader with a thorough understanding of the battle.
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