In 1816, an innkeeper named George Chancellor announced that his "large and commodious" roadside inn, named Chancellorsville, was open. By the 1860's the inn had gone out of operation, as central Virginia became a vast battleground. Headquarters for Federal General Joseph Hooker were in the building as he directed the Northern army during the Battle of Chancellorsville in May 1863, During the climactic day of that fight, May 3, Hooker was stunned and temporarily disabled when a Confederate shell shattered the porch column against which he was leaning, throwing him past painfully to the ground. Shortly thereafter, Confederate troops swarmed into the clearing around Chancellorsville from three sides and sealed the triumph in what has been called General R.E. Lee's greatest victory. When Lee rode into the area a dramatic impromptu tribute unfolded: "One long, unbroken cheer, in which the feeble cry of those who lay helpless on the earth, blended with the strong voices of those who still fought, rose high above the roar of battle, and hailed the presence of the victorious chief."