Battle of Fredericksburg

Fredericksburg, battle of

battle of Fredericksburg, in the Civil War, fought Dec. 13, 1862, at Fredericksburg, Va. In Nov., 1862, the Union general Ambrose Burnside moved his three "grand divisions" under W. B. Franklin, E. V. Sumner, and Joseph Hooker to the north side of the Rappahannock River opposite Fredericksburg; his objective was Richmond. Delay in bringing up pontoons prevented Burnside from seizing the heights on the south bank immediately. Robert E. Lee, having anticipated the move, soon confronted him from those heights with James Longstreet's 1st Corps, which soon was joined by Stonewall Jackson's 2d. The Federals crossed on Dec. 11–12 and attacked Lee on Dec. 13. After Jackson had repulsed Franklin's attack on the Confederate right, Burnside ordered Sumner to storm Longstreet's impregnable position on Marye's Heights. Successive charges brought death to droves of courageous Union troops. Burnside's subordinates protested against renewing the foolhardy assaults, and on Dec. 15 the Federals made an undisturbed withdrawal to the north bank. Union losses, more than twice the Confederate, were over 12,000. The defeat caused profound depression throughout the North.

See E. J. Stackpole, Drama on the Rappahannock (1957); V. E. Whan, Jr., Fiasco at Fredericksburg (1961); J. Luvaas and H. W. Nelson, The U.S. Army Guide to the Battles of Chancellorsville and Fredericksburg (1989).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2015, The Columbia University Press.

Battle of Fredericksburg: Selected full-text books and articles

Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville: The Dare Mark Campaign By Daniel E. Sutherland University of Nebraska Press, 1998
The Fredericksburg Campaign: Decision on the Rappahannock By Gary W. Gallagher University of North Carolina Press, 1995
News from Fredricksburg By George Rable Marquette University Press, 2000
The Story of the 116th Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteers in the War of the Rebellion By Clair A. Mulholland; Lawrence Frederick Kohl Fordham University Press, 1996
Librarian’s tip: Chap. II "Fredericksburg" and Chap. III "After Fredericksburg"
The North Reports the Civil War By J. Cutler Andrews University of Pittsburgh Press, 1955
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 13 "'Don't Treat... Fredericksburg as a Disaster'"
The American Iliad: The Epic Story of the Civil War as Narrated by Eyewitnesses and Contemporaries By Otto Eisenschiml; Ralph Newman Bobbs-Merrill, 1947
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 12 "Dark Days for the North: The Battle of Fredericksburg"
"Oh, God, What a Pity!": The Irish Brigade at Fredericksburg and the Creation of Myth By Warren, Craig A Civil War History, Vol. 47, No. 3, September 2001
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
FREE! American Campaigns By Matthew Forney Steele Byron S. Adams, vol.1, 1909
Librarian’s tip: Lecture XIV "The Fredericksburg Campaign"
Lee & His Army in Confederate History By Gary W. Gallagher University of North Carolina Press, 2001
Librarian’s tip: "The Yanks Have Had a Terrible Whipping: Confederates Evaluate the Battle of Fredericksburg" begins on p. 51
The Army of Northern Virginia: Lee's Army in the American Civil War, 1861-1865 By Philip Katcher Fitzroy Dearborn, 2003
Librarian’s tip: "Fredericksburg" begins on p. 173
The Long Arm of Lee, Or, the History of the Artillery of the Army of Northern Virginia By Jennings Cropper Wise University of Nebraska Press, vol.1, 1991
Librarian’s tip: Chap. XXI "Fredericksburg"
The Military Genius of Abraham Lincoln: An Essay By Colin R. Ballard World Publishing, 1952
Librarian’s tip: Chap. XIV "Fredericksburg"
Jeb Stuart By John W. Thomason University of Nebraska Press, 1994
Librarian’s tip: Chap. XIII "Cavalry Fights and Fredericksburg"
Fighting for the Confederacy: The Personal Recollections of General Edward Porter Alexander By Edward Porter Alexander; Gary W. Gallagher University of North Carolina Press, 1989
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 8 "The Battle of Fredericksburg" and Chap. 9 "Winter after Fredericksburg"
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