Battle of Fredericksburg

War So Terrible: A Popular History of the Battle of Fredericksburg

By Donald C. Pflanz

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Local Park Ranger Don Pfanz gives a history of the battle. Includes maps.

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The Fredericksburg Campaign: Winter War on the Rappahannock

By Francis Augustín O'Reilly

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The battle at Fredericksburg, Virginia, in December 1862 involved hundreds of thousands of men; produced staggering, unequal casualties (13,000 Federal soldiers compared to 4,500 Confederates); ruined the career of Ambrose E. Burnside; embarrassed Abraham Lincoln; and distinguished Robert E. Lee as one of the greatest military strategists of his era. Francis Augustin O'Reilly draws upon his intimate knowledge of the battlegrounds to discuss the unprecedented nature of Fredericksburg's warfare. Lauded for its vivid description, trenchant analysis, and meticulous research, his award-winning book makes for compulsive reading.
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A Walking Tour of Fredericksburg: Revisit December 1862

By the Fredericksburg Department of Tourism

During the American Civil War, Fredericksburg's geographic location drew contending armies to its environs with a deadly inevitability. The City is located on the banks of a river that served as a natural defensive barrier as well as astride a north-south rail corridor that helped keep the large armies supplied. On four separate occasions, the Union Army of the Potomac, fought the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia in and around the City. These clashes left over 100,000 casualties and a scarred landscape in their wake.

Walk Through History . . . Hanover Street

By the Fredericksburg Area Tourism Department

In 1714, the Stuart dynasty ended in England with the death of Queen Anne. George I, elector of Hanover, Germany, was selected to become the next ruler of England, thus beginning the long reign of the House of Hanover.

Hanover Street, named after the House of Hanover, was developed on part of a tract of land granted in 1671 to early Virginia settlers Thomas Royston and John Buckner. The street was one of Fredericksburg's original eight streets, when the city was granted its charter in 1728.

The Civil War: An Illustrated History

By Geoffrey C. Ward

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This companion volume to the nine-part public television series contains more than 500 illustrations. Some of the photographs have never appeared before. The accounts of the Battle of Fredericksburg as well as some very memorable photographs of the area appear on pages 168 through 174. On page 185, one can almost feel the bitter January cold as the three Confederate pickets huddle around the fire and struggle to stay warm.

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Nurse and Spy in the Union Army

Emma Edmonds kept a wartime journal which she later expanded into a book, available today as Nurse and Spy in the Union Army. In this selection, "Frank Thompson" volunteers to substitute for General Hancock's aide-de-camp. Here she tells of a wild ride, an unexpected death, and a wounded officer.

Battle-field, Fredericksburg, VA.,
December 13, 1862

I rode three miles with General H. to General Franklin's headquarters, the second night we were at Fredericksburg, and all the night that I can recall to mind that was the darkest. On our way we had numerous ditches to leap, various ravines to cross, and mountains to climb, which can be better imagined than described. It was not only once or twice that horse and rider went tumbling into chasms head first, but frequently.

"The old wines of the good people of Fredericksburg have been referred to."

By General G. Moxley Sorrel

In the aftermath of December 1862's bloody Battle of Fredericksburg, in the midst of the tending of the wounded and removal of the dead, there were some surprising flashes of cordiality between the enemy camps. General G. Moxley Sorrel, Longstreet's Chief of Staff, gives a very human side to the war in his recollections.

The old wines of the good people of Fredericksburg have been referred to. They suffered in the fortunes of war. A few nights before the opening of the battle, which was then imminent, considerable quantities of fine old Madeira and other varieties were taken out of cellars and bins, and sent by the citizens to our fellows in camp, equally ready for drink or for battle. It was known that the town would be shelled and occupied by the Federals, probably looted and plundered; therefore it was thought safest to see priceless old vintages passed around campfires and quaffed in gulps from tincups. Of course the men would have better liked whiskey, but they did not refuse the wine.

Toll Bridge Across the Rappahannock

 Fredericksburg bridge toll token with cost given of eight centsSince the body of water known as the Rappahannock River separated two important areas of commerce and trade, it had, of course, to be crossed constantly. The Indians had their canoes and the early settlers had their boats and ferries. The first bridge was built about 1800 and was referred to as Scott's Bridge.

Alum Spring Park: A Walk Through History

Alum Spring Park is a 34-acre woodland retreat off Greenbriar Drive with a playground and hiking trails. Its sandstone cliff, also known as the Alum Spring Rock, is 400 feet long and 40 feet high.

A Return to Sunken Road

On May 29, 2005, a public dedication ceremony was held at the Richard Kirkland Monument, adjacent to the newly restored Sunken Road. Workers spent months burying power lines, removing pavement, and restoring the stone wall. All of this recreated the look and feel of what became one of the bloodiest pieces of ground in the Civil War.