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Battle of Fredericksburg Summary: The Battle of Fredericksburg was an early battle of the civil war and stands as one of the greatest Confederate victories. Led by General Robert E. Ambrose Burnside. Major General Ambrose Burnside had reluctantly accepted his appointment to replace Maj.

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Help us preserve the memory of those brave Americans who sacrificed so much at Slaughter Pen Farm — scene of the most vicious hand-to-hand combat of Civil War Article. Quick Facts. Fact 3: Fredericksburg hosted the largest group of soldiers to participate in a Civil War battle. 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. Wave after wave of Federal soldiers advanced across the open fields in front of the wall, but each was met with devastating rifle and artillery fire from the nearly impregnable Confederate positions.

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Barksdale's Mississippi Brigade remained to resist the Union advance through town. December Fact 4: Union forces bombarded Fredericksburg with cannons. As Union troops assembled for battle on the morning of December 13, Maj. John Pelham sensed an opportunity to preempt the Yankee attack. Help Save Fredericksburg.

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All told,were actually available to the two commanders during the battle. With few Confederates holding the city, Burnside could easily have captured it and marched on Richmond. The Federals had no idea what hit them.

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In an attempt to suppress the sniper-fire, Burnside ordered Union artillery to bombard the town. Many initially assumed the fire came from a confused Union gunner until Pelham unleashed his second round. By contrast, onlysoldiers fought at Gettysburg in July 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.

After Maj. George B. McClellan 's failure to follow up on his victory at the battle of AntietamMaj. Ambrose Burnside was ordered to replace him as commander of the Army of the Potomac.

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Fact 2: The Union crossing at Fredericksburg was delayed by a lack of portable pontoon bridges. Donate Now. Related Battles.

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Two of Meade's regiments caught Gregg by surprise, and routed the whole brigade. Burnside was reluctant to accept this post, believing that he was not qualified for such a large command.

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As the fighting continued, the Northerners began to run out of ammunition, and several of their most important officers were incapacitated. The Civil War Trust also worked with the Department of the Interior and Commonwealth of Virginia, which provided matching grants to acquire the property.

Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia held over 70, soldiers. 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. 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. Topic s :.

Battle of fredericksburg

The shelling of Fredericksburg was arguably the first time a commander deliberately ordered a large-scale bombardment of a city during the Civil War. Fact 5: The Battle of Fredericksburg was the first opposed river crossing in American military history. Here are some facts to help shed a little light on the battle for newcomers and test the knowledge of veterans.

Lee commanded the only sizeable force that could oppose him, but his army was divided: Lt. Burnside's speed and superior s were meaningless without the pontoon boats that he needed to cross the Rappahannock River. In fact, he had ly turned down two other offers of promotion from Lincoln.

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Estimated Casualties. 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 battle

The two attacks broke the Rebel line and would have rendered the entire Confederate position untenable if enough Union reinforcements were committed to the attack. Without reinforcements, the attacks ground to a halt. As Burnside grew desperate, he sent troops across the river in pontoon boats to establish a bridgehead and drive away Confederate sharpshooters.

Fact 9: A timely counterattack saved the broken Confederate lines, and gave the area its nickname. Call to Arms. Union 12, View Full Battle Overview.

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Maxcy Gregg's Brigade, which was waiting in reserve behind the lines, were the only Southerners in the area. A yard swampy marshland that the Confederate commanders considered impassible divided Jackson's lines. These soldiers came under heavy fire, but ultimately cleared away the snipers and enabled engineers to finish construction of the bridge. Fact 7: Confederate horse artillery on the Union left flank caused the Federals to divert their largest division from the main attack. Related Articles. View All Related Resources. Burnside finally took command of the army on November 10,and began devising a bold plan to capture Richmond.

Following the path of least resistance, members of Maj. George Meade's division of Pennsylvania Reserves through this swampy bog during the battle. The Federals were forced to fall back, and the Confederates recaptured the railroad embankments.

Fredericksburg, battle of

This time Burnside felt that his duty required him to accept the President's promotion. Lee's army. Fact The purchase of the Slaughter Pen Farm was the most expensive private battlefield preservation effort in American history. Simultaneously, Maj. John Gibbon's division attacked across a field next to the swampland, driving back a brigade of North Carolinians defending a railroad grade. After one cannon was disabled and his ammunition began running low, Pelham finally disengaged and fell back to the Confederate line, having fought his guns for an hour.

The carnage was devastating. The ensuing barrage damaged nearly every house. Campaign Details. 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. The fighting which ensued in the streets and buildings of Fredericksburg was the first true urban warfare of the Civil War.

The Confederate infantry held positions at the base of the heights in an impromptu trench formed by a stone wall bordering a sunken road.