May 4, 1863: The Battle of Chancellorsville ends.
When Union Major General “Fighting” Joe Hooker’s 130,000-strong forces clashed with Robert E. Lee’s significantly smaller army in Spotsylvania County, Virginia, the hero of the Confederacy emerged victorious - to the shock of the North. Joseph Hooker, once considered a top-notch administrator, motivator of troops, and overall a vast improvement over some of his predecessors, had apparently “lost his nerve” a day into the battle on May 1; despite his enormous numerical advantage, he failed to take the offensive against Lee’s forces, which subsequently divided and flanked the Union army. Fighting on May 3, divided between Chancellorsville, Fredericksburg, and Salem Church, resulted in the bloodiest day of fighting of the Civil War, after Antietam.
When Abraham Lincoln learned of the defeat, he reportedly exclaimed “My God! My God! What will the country say?” Lincoln’s only consolation was that General “Stonewall” Jackson, one of the Confederacy’s most beloved commanders, had been wounded by his own men near the end of the battle. Jackson died a week later, a disastrous blow to the Confederacy’s war effort and morale, to which General Lee responded: “I have lost my right arm”.
The American Civil War in Numbers
Number of soldiers who fought on the Union side: 2,130,000
Number of soldiers who fought on the Confederate side: 1,100,000
Number of soldiers who died on the Union side: 360,000
Number of soldiers who died on the Confederate side: 260,000 (these numbers include deaths from disease).
Most casualties in one battle: The Battle of Gettysburg, with 51,000 casualties and 7,000 dead (x)
Most casualties in a one-day battle: The Battle of Antietam, with 22,700 casualties and 3,600 dead.
Number of enlisted African-Americans in the Union Army: 180,000 (and 20,000 in the Navy) (x)
Number of enlisted African-Americans in the Confederate Army: (disputed) although thousands served as laborers and servants.
Official salary (per month) of a Union private: $13 (x)
Official salary (per month) of a Confederate private: $11
Official salary (per month) of a black Union private: $10, later $7.
Number of POWs captured: 400,000
Number of Union soldiers who died in Andersonville Prison: 13,000 (x)
Total number of soldiers who died in prison camps: 56,000 (x)
Direct cost (in terms of government expenditures): $3.3 billion (x)
Indirect cost: $3.7 billion
Beginning date: April 12, 1861
End date: April 9, 1865
Total time: 1459 days
A black deserter named William Johnson is hanged outside Petersburg, VA by the Union army for “an attempt to outrage the person of a young lady at the New-Kent Court-house.” - June 1864.
The best part about the Civil War is the facial hair.