The Battle of Salem Church, also known as the Battle of Banks' Ford, took place on May 3 and May 4, 1863, in Spotsylvania County, Virginia, as part of the Chancellorsville Campaign of the American Civil War.
After occupying Marye's Heights on May 3 following the Second Battle of Fredericksburg, Maj. Gen. John Sedgwick's VI Corps of about 25,000 men marched out on the Plank Road with the objective of reaching his superior Maj. Gen. Joseph Hooker's force at Chancellorsville. He was delayed by Brig. Gen. Cadmus M. Wilcox's brigade of Maj. Gen. Jubal A. Early's force at Salem Church. During the afternoon and night, Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee detached two of his divisions from the Chancellorsville lines and marched them to Salem Church. Several Union assaults were repulsed the next morning with heavy casualties, and the Confederates counterattacked, gaining some ground. After dark, Sedgwick withdrew across two pontoon bridges at Scott’s Dam under a harassing artillery fire. Hearing that Sedgwick had been repulsed, Hooker abandoned the entire campaign, recrossing on the night of May 5 into May 6 to the north bank of the Rappahannock River back towards the Federal camp at Falmouth.