On the morning of May 3, this large, open plateau, known as "Hazel Grove," was the key to the Union position. "Stonewall" Jackson's flank attack the evening before had staggered the Union army but had not seriously damaged it. As the new day dawned, the Confederate army found itself divided, with Hooker holding the high ground - Hazel Grove - in between.
Had Hooker strongly defended the plateau, he could have kept the Confederate army separated and defeated it one piece at a time. But the Union leader had lost his will to fight. Before dawn he ordered his troops toward Chancellorsville, forfeiting the most important position on the battlefield.
There has rarely been a more gratuitous gift of a battle-field.
Col. E. Porter Alexander, CSA