Date of Award

2-2017

Document Type

Capstone-Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Program Name

Military History

Capstone Instructor

Dr. John F. Chappo

Abstract

This thesis will examine Union Sixth Corps Major General John Sedgwick and his performance during the Chancellorsville Campaign from April 28, 1863 to May 5, 1863. The foundation of this study will cover Sedgwick’s conduct both in the micro-tactical level and the larger operational scale with the overall focus on his triumphs and inevitable challenges. The research findings provided through official reports, dispatches, memoirs, and personal letters indicate Sedgwick performed strongly in an independent command role as emphasized by his consistent decisions and flexibility to unexpected events. Additionally, the use of statistics and logical inferences will further support the conclusion on Sedgwick’s positive achievements. This judgment is in contrast to a vast majority of existing historiography originated by immediate post-battle criticisms that characterize Sedgwick’s command style during the campaign as slow and tentative. Although the Chancellorsville Campaign ended in defeat for the Army of the Potomac, the highest moments of the campaign came from John Sedgwick and his Sixth Corps as shown by their participation in the sub-battles of Second Fredericksburg, Salem Church, and Banks’ Ford.

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