Here, on the evening of May 1, 1863, Generals Robert E. Lee and "Stonewall" Jackson hatched one of the boldest schemes in military history. Hunched over maps beside a small fire, the two generals plotted how to destroy the Union army, now entrenched around Chancellorsville, a mile to your left. The solution came when Confederate cavalryman General J.E.B. Stuart reported that the Union right flank (three miles behind you) lay unprotected.
During the night, with the help of local residents, Lee and Jackson mapped a secure route across the front of the Union army to the Federal right flank. Jackson proposed taking 30,000 men to assail the Union army from the west. That would leave Lee with just 15,000 men to distract and hold in place the 75,000-man Union army in front of Chancellorsville. Dividing his outnumbered army invited destruction, but success promised dramatic victory. Lee gave his assent.