Why did Lee invade the North After Chancellorsville?

1 Answer
Apr 10, 2017

After the costly success of Chancellorsville. General Lee felt he had an opportunity to win the war by invading the North and perhaps taking Washington. It was the last chance to win the War.


Wars are won by offensives. After the Battle of Chancellorsville there was an opportunity to deal a war ending blow to the North. By forcing the North into a negotiated peace the independence of the Confederacy could be insured.

The defensive victories of the South would not win the War for the South. Lee gambled that he could defeat the the shaken armies of the North and force his way into Washington.

It was not to be and the defeats of Gettysburg and Vicksburg in July 1863 sealed the fate of the South. Because Lee got away with the remainder of his Army it would not be until the Spring of 1865 and many more deaths before the War ended.