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Battle of Fredericksburg

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Dates:

December 11-15, 1862

Other Names:

Marye’s Heights

Location:

Fredericksburg, Virginia

Key Individuals Involved in the Battle of Fredericksburg:

Union: Major General Ambrose E. Burnside
Confederate: General Robert E. Lee

Outcome:

Confederate Victory. 17,929 casualties of which 13,353 were Union soldiers.

Significance of the Battle of Fredericksburg:

Burnside unsuccessful attempt to move South to launch an attack against the Southern Capital at Richmond resulted in overwhelming defeat. This combined with his abortive “Mud March” in January and other failures led to Burnside’s replacement by Maj. Gen. Joseph Hooker in January 1863.

Overview of the Battle :

On November 14, Burnside, now in command of the Army of the Potomac, sent a corps to occupy the vicinity of Falmouth near Fredericksburg. The rest of the army soon followed. Lee reacted by entrenching his army on the heights behind the town. On December 11, Union engineers laid five pontoon bridges across the Rappahannock under fire. On the 12th, the Federal army crossed over, and on December 13, Burnside mounted a series of futile frontal assaults on Prospect Hill and Marye’s Heights that resulted in staggering casualties. Meade’s division, on the Union left flank, briefly penetrated Jackson’s line but was driven back by a counterattack. Union generals C. Feger Jackson and George Bayard, and Confederate generals Thomas R.R. Cobb and Maxey Gregg were killed. On December 15, Burnside called off the offensive and recrossed the river, ending the campaign. Burnside initiated a new offensive in January 1863, which quickly bogged down in the winter mud.
Source: CWSAC Battle Summaries

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