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Fredericksburg, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Fredericksburg City Dock

Contesting the Crossing

 
 
Fredericksburg City Dock: Contesting the Crossing Marker image. Click for full size.
By Dawn Bowen, June 5, 2007
1. Fredericksburg City Dock: Contesting the Crossing Marker
Inscription. Confederate troops under the command of Gen. William Barksdale were awake and alert hereon the morning of December 11,1862, waiting anxiously for the sun to rise. On the river, unseen in the inky blackness but clearly audible in the night’s stillness, Union engineers were constructing a pontoon bridge that would enable Gen. Ambrose E. Burnside’s Army of the Potomac to cross the Rappahannock River and seize Fredericksburg. Barksdale’s task was to delay the Union crossing long enough for the rest of the Confederate army to take position on the heights behind the town, one mile ahead of you.

As the sun rose, Barksdale’s men could vaguely discern the shadowy figures of the Union engineers, now just a few dozen yards from the Confederate shore. Shots broke down the silence – first one or two, then hundreds. Engineers fell dead on the bridge or dashed to the safety of the opposite shore. Union cannon replied to the Confederate fire with a savage but largely ineffective bombardment of the town. Time and again, engineers dashed out to complete the bridge only to be driven back by sharpshooters concealed behind walls and in houses like the one in front of you.

For ten hours the fighting continued. About 4 p.m., soldiers from New York, Michigan, and Massachusetts rowed across the river under fire and pushed the Confederates
Union troops cross the Rappahannock image. Click for full size.
By Dawn Bowen, June 4, 2007
2. Union troops cross the Rappahannock
back from the water’s edge, The engineers completed the bridges, and the next day more than 30,000 Union soldiers poured across. But Barksdale’s stubborn stand had bought Gen. Robert E. Lee the time he needed to assemble his army on the hills behind the town. The stage was set for a slaughter at Fredericksburg.
 
Erected by Civil War Trails.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Virginia Civil War Trails marker series.
 
Location. 38° 17.791′ N, 77° 27.218′ W. Marker is in Fredericksburg, Virginia. Marker is on Sophia Street south of Frederick Street. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 101 Sophia Street, Fredericksburg VA 22401, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 10 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. A different marker also named Fredericksburg City Dock (here, next to this marker); a different marker also named Fredericksburg City Dock (here, next to this marker); No Outlet (within shouting distance of this marker); The Slave Ship Othello (within shouting distance of this marker); The Middle Passage (within shouting distance of this marker); George Washington’s Boyhood Home at Ferry Farm
Confederate Sharpshooters image. Click for full size.
By Dawn Bowen, June 4, 2007
3. Confederate Sharpshooters
(within shouting distance of this marker); Fredericksburg's Wharves and Harbor (within shouting distance of this marker); Irish Brigade (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Rocky Lane (about 300 feet away); The Sentry Box (about 400 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Fredericksburg.
 
Categories. War, US Civil
 
Fredericksburg City Dock Markers image. Click for full size.
By Kevin W., February 2, 2008
4. Fredericksburg City Dock Markers
Fredericksburg City Dock Marker image. Click for full size.
By Brandon Fletcher, July 18, 2008
5. Fredericksburg City Dock Marker
House from which sharp shooters fired image. Click for full size.
By Dawn Bowen, June 4, 2007
6. House from which sharp shooters fired
Fredericksburg City Dock image. Click for full size.
By Brandon Fletcher, July 18, 2008
7. Fredericksburg City Dock
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on June 5, 2007, by Dawn Bowen of Fredericksburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,886 times since then and 86 times this year. Last updated on June 10, 2007, by Dawn Bowen of Fredericksburg, Virginia. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on June 5, 2007, by Dawn Bowen of Fredericksburg, Virginia.   4. submitted on February 2, 2008, by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia.   5. submitted on July 26, 2015, by Brandon Fletcher of Chattanooga, Tennessee.   6. submitted on June 5, 2007, by Dawn Bowen of Fredericksburg, Virginia.   7. submitted on July 26, 2015, by Brandon Fletcher of Chattanooga, Tennessee. • J. J. Prats was the editor who published this page.
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