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December 11 - 15, 1862

Fredericksburg, Virginia

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.
Learn More About This Battle
The True Battle for Fredericksburg

The True Battle for Fredericksburg

Author and historian Frank O'Reilly describes the struggle to cross the Rappahannock and the critical fighting for the southern end of the battlefield in this article.

Fredericksburg History

Fredericksburg! Fredericksburg!

Historian George Rable describes the rich history,terrible fighting, and the human struggle at the Battle of Fredericksburg


View the Civil War Trust's collection of photos from the Fredericksburg battlefield in Virginia.

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Historian Frank O'Reilly describes the fateful Union assaults against the strong Confederate position in the Sunken Road at the Battle of Fredericksburg.

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Recommended Reading

Battle of Fredericksburg Book

"The Fredericksburg Campaign: Winter War on the Rappahannock"
by Francis Augustin O'Reilly

Author Interview »  |  Buy »

"Fredericksburg! Fredericksburg!"
by George C. Rable

Author Interview »  |  Buy »

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