It was a landmark engagement in the history of warfare. It served as the single greatest display of Robert E. Lee's tactical genius and Stonewall Jackson's troop leadership. But while it was the high point of Civil War battlefield success for the South, Chancellorsville ultimately turned out to be a devastating blow to the future of the Confederacy. In Chancellorsville 1863, the first book on this great clash in three decades, Ernest B. Furgurson demonstrates why soldiers in America and abroad have studied the campaign as a classic for more than 125 years. Basing his work on extensive new research, including unpublished diaries and letters, Furgurson presents Chancellorsville not as a single episode but as a series of distinct and bloody clashes. He shows how Lee countered Union general Joseph Hooker's brilliant opening stroke with one risky move after another - no other Civil War general in either army would calculate or improvise maneuvers so daring. Furgurson examines why Hooker folded in a glaring display of moral weakness; he tells in detail how Jackson was struck down by friendly fire at his moment of triumph; and he describes the decisions and indecision in Washington and Richmond and army headquarters, and the bravery and terror of individual soldiers in the field. Combining an authoritative military analysis with wrenching eyewitness narratives, Chancellorsville 1863 makes clear why Lee's brightest victory predetermined his defeat at Gettysburg.