Battle of Salem Church, May 3-4, 1863
The Battle of Salem Church occurred May 3-4, 1863 as part of the Chancellorsville Campaign. Directly after the Second Battle of Fredericksburg on May 3, when Major General John Sedgwick’s Union VI Corps successfully took Marye’s Heights, Sedgwick moved west in an attempt to join General Joseph Hooker at Chancellorsville. A delaying action by Confederate Brigadier General Cadmus Wilcox along the Orange Plank Road prevented Sedgwick from reaching Hooker and allowed reinforcements to arrive at Salem Church. An engagement at Salem Church in the evening of May 3 forced Sedgwick into a defensive position. Robert E. Lee organized an assault on the Union VI Corps on May 4 which ultimately resulted in Sedgwick’s retreat across the Rappahannock.