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The carnage was devastating. Due to administrative problems, the first pontoons arrived a week after Burnside reached the North bank of the Rappahannock, and the Union general waited another two weeks before attempting to cross.

Richard Kirkland, at risk of being fired upon by Union soldiers repeatedly ventured out onto the battlefield. They were met by 80,000 of Lee's men, who held off the Union long enough to wait for reinforcements. General Burnside launches several assaults on December 13th against the Confederate defensive positions on the hills just west of Fredericksburg (Marye's Heights and Check out our animated battle map for Fredericksburg. Two other armies joined Lee's army. Donate today to preserve Civil War battlefields and the nation’s history for generations to come.

When the Union Army finally crossed over the Rappahannock River they became engaged in street to street and house to house fighting with Confederate soldiers who occupied In the fall of …

Here are some facts to help shed a little light on the battle for newcomers and test the knowledge of veterans. On the morning of December 14th, after the failed Union assaults on Marye's Heights, many wounded Union soldiers lied helpless on the battlefield.

The City of Fredericksburg changed hands at least seven times during the course of the war.

Over 200,000 men fought in the battle. This mistake was followed by General Burnside's horrible decision to The Confederates achieved a stunning victory and it provided a much-needed morale boost to the South. South of Marye’s Heights, Stonewall Jackson's 37,000 men occupied wooded high-ground with open farmlands stretching below them for nearly a mile and a railroad embankment providing them with natural breastworks.
Confederates. Lincoln was very upset at the outcome of the battle, saying, "If there is a place worse than hell, I am in it.". The battle took place from December 11 through December 15, 1862. Jackson, on the other hand, received reinforcements quickly, and his troops surrounded the Gibbon's men on three sides – leaving many of them exposed in the open field. and blankets for protection from the freezing cold temperature. Simultaneously, Maj. Gen. John Gibbon's division attacked across a field next to the swampland, driving back a brigade of North Carolinians defending a railroad grade.

Help save a crucial 22-acre tract on the battlefield where 14 African American soldiers earned the highest military honor in the land. The Union troops, despite outnumbering the Confederates, suffered a crushing defeat. Richard Rowland Kirkland of the 2nd South Carolina climbed over the stone wall the next day to provide water and comfort to many wounded Union soldiers – earning himself the nickname “Angel of Marye’s Heights” or “The Humane Hero of Fredericksburg.”.

wounded. Interesting Facts about the Battle of Fredericksburg. The battle of Fredericksburg was a perfect example of how the appointment of incompetent and poorly qualified Union Army commanders led to the useless loss of thousands Fredericksburg hosted the largest group of soldiers to participate in a Civil War battle. This time Burnside felt that his duty required him to accept the President's promotion. the town. Renowned author Louisa May Alcott served as a nurse shortly after the battle of Fredericksburg. A confederate soldier, The American Civil War Battle of Fredericksburg was fought from December 11th through December 15th of 1862 in and around the town of Fredericksburg Virginia. The delay afforded Lee time to re-unite his army in strong positions west of Fredericksburg, but Burnside decided to cross the river at Fredericksburg anyway. Following the path of least resistance, members of Maj. Gen. George Meade's division of Pennsylvania Reserves through this swampy bog during the battle. As he wrote a colleague: “Had I been asked to take it I should have declined; but, being ordered, I cheerfully obey.” Another factor in Burnside’s decision to accept the post was the fact that Burnside wanted to prevent his subordinate, Maj. Gen. Joseph Hooker (Lincoln’s second choice for the post), from taking command, as Burnside held a low opinion of Hooker. On this page you will find a list of interesting facts about this great battle including information about the numerous tactical mistakes made by Union General Ambrose Burnside.

On December 12th the Union Army crosses the pontoon bridge and attacks Confederate soldiers in the town of Fredericksburg. As the fighting continued, the Northerners began to run out of ammunition, and several of their most important officers were incapacitated. However, Lee had a hard time replacing the men and supplies used in the battle, which a theme that repeated itself for the Confederates throughout the war. It was the most lopsided victory in terms of casualties during the American Civil War. Help Bring the Western Theater Battlefield Experience Online, Save 95 Crucial Acres at Two Revolutionary War Battlefields, Kentuckians: Support Battlefield Preservation Legislation, Virginians: Support Battlefield Preservation Legislation, 158 Years after Mighty Armies Clashed at Perryville, the State Park Commemorating Their Struggle Is Poised to Grow by Hundreds of Acres, The Battle of Kings Mountain: A Story of Memories, Combined Federal Campaign and State Charitable Campaigns, Watch Exclusive Videos on our YouTube Channel. Wave after wave of brave Union soldiers were mowed down as they repeatedly attacked the As Union engineers attempted to assemble the pontoon bridges on the Rappahannock, they were fired upon incessantly by Confederate sharpshooters positioned in buildings in town – preventing them from making progress on the bridges. All Donations to the Trust are tax deductible to the full extent allowable under the law. Her experiences with the wounded soldiers from the battle are included in her book Hospital Sketches. The Battle of Fredericksburg was one of the most embarrassing Union defeats of the war, but the details of the battle are less well-known.

The Federals were forced to fall back, and the Confederates recaptured the railroad embankments. On December 15 and 16, Burnside was able to successfully lead the remainder of the Union troops on their retreat out of Fredericksburg and into Stafford Heights. He brought the wounded Union and Confederate soldiers water In 2006, the Trust and its partners purchased the Slaughter Pen Farm for $12 million. It occurred in Fredericksburg, Tennessee and surrounding areas of Spotsylvania County.

All told, 172,000 were actually available to the two commanders during the battle.

This allowed the Confederate line to stretch for over three miles.

Burnside was reluctant to accept this post, believing that he was not qualified for such a large command. Burnside planned to use the nearly 60,000 men in his “Left Grand Division” to crush Lee’s right flank while the rest of his army held the Confederate left flank in position at Marye’s Heights. 15 Union brigades participated in charges against Marye’s heights, but not a single unit reached the stone wall.

Although the main Confederate force waited for Burnside’s army outside the city, Gen. Barksdale's Mississippi Brigade remained to resist the Union advance through town. Burnside's battle plan was already disrupted by the events at the Rappahannock. Lee's army was initially divided into two groups, but by the time of the battle, he once again had his full force at his command. Battle of Fredericksburg Interesting Facts Many Union Army mistakes led to the overwhelming Confederate victory at this battle. The Federals had no idea what hit them. Show your pride in battlefield preservation by shopping in our store. The first mistake was the huge delay in getting the supplies needed to build the pontoon bridge across the river which allowed …

The American Battlefield Trust and our members have saved more than 53,000 acres in 24 states! However, he felt compelled to continue because the U.S. was demanding to see some type of action and positive results in the war.


Divisions of the American Battlefield Trust: The American Battlefield Trust is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

Burnside finally took command of the army on November 10, 1862, and began devising a bold plan to capture Richmond.

Our Battle of Fredericksburg page includes history articles, battle maps, expert videos, photos, and recommended web links for this important 1862 Civil War battle in Virginia. Union casualties were more than double that of the Confederates. He is referred to as the "The Angel of Marye's Heights".

On December 15th the Union army retreats back across the Rappahannock River. books about the Battle of Fredericksburg. After the battle, the Federals withdrew across the river to avoid being trapped, effectively relinquishing the gains they made by crossing the river. After Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan's failure to follow up on his victory at the battle of Antietam, Maj. Gen. Ambrose Burnside was ordered to replace him as commander of the Army of the Potomac. With few Confederates holding the city, Burnside could easily have captured it and marched on Richmond.
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