The Fredericksburg Campaign: Winter War on the Rappahannock

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LSU Press, 2003 - History - 630 pages
12 Reviews
In November 1862, just four days after his promotion to commander of the Army of the Potomac, Ambrose Burnside moved his army to Fredericksburg, Virginia, en route to Richmond. Confederate commander Robert E. Lee responded by placing the Army of Northern Virginia directly across the Rappahannock River on Marye's Heights and Prospect Hill. The ensuing engagement climaxing on December 13, stretched for miles, involved hundreds of thousands of men, produced staggering unequal casualties (13,000 Federal soldiers compared to 4,500 Confederates), ruined the career of Burnside, embarrassed Abraham Lincoln, and distinguished Lee as one of the greatest military strategists of his era.
The Fredericksburg Campaign, by Francis O'Reilly, is the definitive military study of this controversial operation. O'Reilly describes the gruesome struggle's tactical movements in vivid detail, integrating eyewitness accounts from the highest-ranking officials to the lowest private soldier to produce a seamless narrative. Woven within the broader military and political events are gripping stories from civilians trapped between the opposing armies.
Drawing upon his close familiarity with the battlefield, the author discusses the unprecedented nature of Fredericksburg's warfare. It saw the first purposeful bombardment of an American city, the first urban street fighting in North America, and the first bridgehead landing under fire in U.S. military history. O'Reilly analyzes the strategy of the commanders, the difficulty in logistics and delay in pontoon bridging, and the political pressure from Lincoln for a victory, which overrode practical considerations.
  

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Review: The Fredericksburg Campaign: Winter War on the Rappahannock

User Review  - Eric Jones - Goodreads

I have really mixed feelings about this book. I am certain it is the definitive account of the Battle of Fredericksburg. Many fascinating details that aren't mentioned in general works, such as the ... Read full review

Review: The Fredericksburg Campaign: Winter War on the Rappahannock

User Review  - Josh Liller - Goodreads

This 500 page behemoth covers the entire 2 1/2 month period when Ambrose Burnside commanded the Army of the Potomac. The focus is of course on the battle itself, with the main day of fighting (Dec 13 ... Read full review

Contents

POOR BURN FEELS DREADFULLY The Winter Campaign of 1862
1
TO CRIPPLE THE REBEL CAUSE The Road to Fredericksburg
9
THE ENEMY WILL BE MORE SURPRISED Countdown to Crossing
38
A SCENE OF WILDEST CONFUSION The Pontoon Crossings on December 11
57
A FIERCE AND DEADLY CONTEST Fighting in the Streets
79
THE MOST GOTHIC OF GOTHS The Sacking of Fredericksburg
102
THE JAWS OF DEATH The Battle Begins
127
A TERRIBLE SLAUGHTER IN OUR RANKS The Federal Breakthrough
166
A DEVIL OF A TIME Howard and Sturgis Attack
324
THE DIE IS CAST Deep Run and Griffins Attack
355
THE GATES OF HELL Final Assaults at Twilight
389
DECIDING THE FATE OF OUR COUNTRY The Aftermath of Battle
430
PLAYED OUT Dumfries Raid and the Mud March
457
Not the Same Troops We Started With
494
Notes
507
Bibliography
575

GETTING HILL OUT O TROUBLE The Confederate Counterattack
198
CHEER UP MY HEARTIES Frenchs Attack
246
THE VALLEY OF DEATH Hancocks Attack
293
Index
603
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About the author (2003)

Francis Augustín O'Reilly is also the author of Stonewall Jackson at Fredericksburg: The Battle of Prospect Hill. He has written numerous articles on the Civil War and conducts extensive battlefield studies and tours throughout Virginia. He lives in Woodford, Virginia.

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