Sunday, December 21, 2014

The Fog of War

In the second volume of his history of the Civil War, Foote described the fog of war through an episcopal clergyman in New York described the many reports that came in about the Battle of Chancellorsville:
"It would seem that Hooker has beaten Lee and that Lee has beaten Hooker, that we have taken Fredericksburg, and that the rebels have taken it also, that we have 4,500 prisoners, and the rebels 5,400, that Hooker has cutoff Lee's retreat, and Lee has cutoff Sedgewick's retreat, and Sedgewick has cutoff everybody's retreat generally, but has retreated himself, although his retreat was cutoff.

In short, all is utter confusion. Everything seems to be everywhere, and everybody all over, and there is no giving it any truth."
Thus, the second attempt to capture Fredericksburg ended in a Federal defeat, albeit a dearly bought one.

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