Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

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February 13, 2013

Battle of Chancellorsville exhibit on display through June

Corsicana — In early May of 1863, two events occurred that would change the course of American history. And with the help of the Pearce Civil War Museum at Navarro College, that history comes alive in a special exhibit on display through June 30.

The Battle of Chancellorsville was fought in the tangled woods surrounding an otherwise unremarkable family home, and in a tragic case of mistaken identity, Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson was fired upon by his own troops and grievously wounded.  

The Battle of Chancellorsville saw the second bloodiest day of the Civil War, the downfall of yet another Union general, and the end to Lincoln’s hopes for a swift end of the war. Visit the Pearce Museum on the campus of Navarro College in Corsicana to see The Great Must Fall as Well as the Small, a temporary exhibition about the Battle of Chancellorsville, to discover even more about this monumental event.

Thanks to the audacious decisions of General Robert E. Lee, the Confederacy won the battle for Chancellorsville. Facing a force twice the size of his own, Lee divided his army not once but twice, confounding a two-prong maneuver by Union general Joseph Hooker. Many historians argue that it was this victory that gave Lee both the confidence and the backing of the Confederate government to make his disastrous advance into Pennsylvania in July that would prove the turning point of the war in the East.  

Dampening the victory, however, was the death of “Stonewall” Jackson.  Lee’s favorite commander lost his left arm to the injury caused by his own men. His prognosis was at first favorable and his recovery seemed likely. Pneumonia set in a few days after the injury, however, and Jackson took a turn for the worse. Compounded by the shock and blood loss caused by the amputation, the pneumonia weakened Jackson until he could fight it no longer. On Sunday, May 10, 1863, the Confederacy lost its’ best hope for winning the Civil War.  The man Lee depended on above all others had fallen.

Visit the Pearce Museum through June 30 to experience The Great Must Fall as Well as the Small: The Battle of Chancellorsville.

The Pearce Museum is open to the public Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Saturday, 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. General admission applies. NC employees and students come in free with id.

For more information about the Pearce Museum, call 903-875-7642.

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