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  • Writer's pictureGeorge Castrioti

May 3rd, 1863 - The Battle of Salem Church

Conflict: American Civil War (1861-1865)

Combatants: Confederates vs. Federals

Location: Virginia (USA)

Outcome: Confederate victory

As part of the larger Battle of Chancellorsville, Union General John Sedgwick opened an attack on the Confederates in positions around Fredericksburg. This assault was initially successful, but General Robert E. Lee ordered an attack on the Union east wing near the Salem Church. This halted the Union advance and the Confederates drove the Federals back to the Rappahannock River on the second day.

Battle of Salem Church by Edwin Forbes

Points of Interest:

  • General John Sedgwick was killed a year later at the Battle of Spotsylvania.

  • Over the course of the Chancellorsville Campaign (April 27th-May4th, 1863), the Confederacy suffered over 12,000 casualties in killed, wounded, and missing. The Union recorded over 17,000 casualties.

General Robert E. Lee by Matthew Benjamin Brady
General John Sedgwick by Mathew Benjamin Brady



Bowman, John S. (Ed.) (1983). The Civil War Almanac. New York: World Almanac.

Dupuy, Trevor N., Johnson, Curt, & Bongard, David L. (1992). The Harper's Encyclopedia of Military Biography. New York: Castle Books (HarperCollins).

Dupuy, R. Ernest & Dupuy, Trevor N. (1993). The Harper's Encyclopedia of Military History. New York: HarperCollins.

Eggenberger, David (1985). An Encyclopedia of Battles: Accounts of Over 1,560 Battles from 1479 B.C. to the Present. New York: Dover Publications, Inc.

Long, E.B & Long, Barbara (1971). The Civil War Day by Day: An Almanac 1861-1865. New York: De Capo Press, Inc.

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