Tag Archives: pontoons

Fredericksburg Campaign N-4 and Battles of Fredericksburg E-44

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Fredericksburg Campaign N-4
Frustrated by the Army of the Potomac’s lack of progress, President Abraham Lincoln replaced army commander Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan with Maj. Gen. Ambrose E. Burnside, who assumed command on 9 Nov. 1862. Within a week, he had the army marching from its camps near Warrenton toward Fredericksburg along this road. Burnside hoped to cross the Rappahannock River at Fredericksburg by pontoon bridges and march on Richmond, but a delay in the arrival of the pontoons thwarted his plan. By the time the bridges arrived, Gen. Robert E. Lee’s army blocked his path. Burnside forced a crossing of the river on 11 Dec. but was defeated two days later at the Battle of Fredericksburg. [2002]

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The Mud March N-6

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In Jan. 1863, after the Federal defeat at the First Battle of Fredericksburg on 13 Dec., Maj. Gen. Ambrose E. Burnside sought to restore the army’s morale by crossing the Rappahannock River at Banks’s Ford two miles south and attacking the rear of Gen. Robert E. Lee’s army. The march began on 19 Jan.; that night a warm front thawed the frozen roads with 48 hours of pouring rain. Confederates across the river taunted the sodden Federals with large signs: “This Way to Richmond” and “Burnside Stuck in the Mud.” Burnside canceled the march on 23 Jan., and two days later President Abraham Lincoln replaced him with Maj. Gen. Joseph Hooker.

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