Write about people's emotions on the mass-killing of 17000 people in  the Civil War in "Across Five Aprils" by Irine Hunt.

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Before the Battle of Chancellorsville there had been bloody battles but this battle seemed to affect people more because there were so many killed.  17,000 soldiers died at Chancellorsville.  This was the fall of General Hooker.  The army's morale was at the bottom of the scale.  There was a sense of hopelessness and loss.  Mothers, daughters, sisters and wives were grieving the death of fathers, sons, and brothers.  Even Shad writes Jenny saying that even though he had made it through three major battles alive, that she should not count to much on a future together. 

"When a man has looked upon such a massive waste of life as I have witnessed in these three battles, the presumption to consider his own little personal dreams becomes a matter of supreme egotism."

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