Several resources on the web introduce and detail the Chancellorsville Battlefield. The official National Park Service site for the Fredericksburg-Spotsylvania Battlefields has a page which offers a good starting point. The Park’s site also provides information regarding the extensive set of trails at the park. For those requiring more detailed coverage, Fredericksburg’s Free Lance Star offers a series of 42 articles by Historian Robert Krick.
The related sets presented here were originally discussed in a blog entry, but for the “tour” I’d add a few additional details. These markers are “hosted” off the Happel Panel at the Visitor center. That marker was replaced recently by a new “billboard wayside” type National Park Service marker. Here’s a breakdown of the marker sets by geographic grouping:
- Chancellorsville First Day Battlefield (list) (map). This section was recently opened up through the efforts of CWPT and Central Virginia Battlefields Trust. The trail is roughly two miles around through open, rolling ground and is well interpreted.
- Confederate Right Wing – McLaws’ Line to Cathrine Furnace (list) (map). This is a diverse set of markers including several Happel panels on the park driving tour, new National Park Service waysides, and even three markers at the Five Mile Forks shopping mall.
- Jackson’s Flank March and Attack (list) (map). One of the few portions of any battlefield that I would say “you are better off driving…” This set covers the Happel panels and National Park Service waysides around the Jackson flank march tour.
- The Wounding of Jackson (list) (map). This set starts with the Wounding of Jackson trail near the park Visitor Center, but includes markers and monuments related to Jackson’s amputation and death at Guinea Station.
- Chancellorsville History Trail (list) (map). Some overlap with a couple of the other sets above. This 3.6 mile trail starts at the Visitor Center, passes through the Chancellor Inn site, along the final Federal lines, and back to the Confederate lines near the Visitor Center.
Chancellorsville offers the battlefield stomper more variety than most fields. The settings vary from urban, developed sections out to the remote and secluded sections of the Wilderness. As noted above, the battlefield features several two or three hour hikes. In terms of men engaged and geographic area, the Chancellorsville battlefield is every bit as big as Gettysburg or Antietam. As such, I’d recommend a dedicated day for even the most cursory examination. Better still, take the trails and spend a couple of days!