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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Fredericksburg in Spotsylvania County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Battle of Fredericksburg

Winter War on the Rappahannock

 
 
Winter War on the Rappahannock Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, July 25, 2009
1. Winter War on the Rappahannock Marker
Inscription. In November 1862, Union Gen. Ambrose E. Burnside led his 115,000-man army southward toward Richmond, the Confederate capital. Delayed by tardy pontoon boats, Burnside was slow to cross the Rappahannock River, which allowed Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee time to block the Union advance with his 78,000 men near Fredericksburg.

On December 13, Burnside launched a two-pronged attack, the first of which was made across these fields. Despite the prospect of success, Union troops ultimately suffered heavy casualties and retreated. Burnside's second attack against the Confederate left on Marye's Heights fared even worse - no Federal soldiers even reached the Confederate line.

Two days later, Burnside retreated across the Rappahannock. Lee had inflicted a punishing 13,000 casualties on the Union army while only suffering 5,000 of his own. Lee followed up his victory with another at Chancellorsville that spring and embarked upon an invasion of the North soon after.

"Considerable nerve is required to march steadily against such murderous fire as that at Fredericksburg."
-Pvt. Bates Alexander, 7th Pennsylvania Reserves, USA

"It was a terribly grand scene - line after line of the foe were moved upon our brave troops, but they stood their ground manfully & finally broke the enemies lines. My heart swelled with
Civil War Preservation Trust image. Click for more information.
2. Civil War Preservation Trust
Help preservation like the Slaughter Pen Farm.
Click for more information.
joy & pride at the sight."

- Gen. Montgomery D. Corse, CSA
 
Erected 2009 by Civil War Preservation Trust and Virginia Civil War Trails.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Virginia Civil War Trails marker series.
 
Location. 38° 15.862′ N, 77° 26.48′ W. Marker is near Fredericksburg, Virginia, in Spotsylvania County. Marker is on Tidewater Trail (U.S. 17), on the right when traveling south. Touch for map. Located on the Civil War Preservation Trust's Slaughter Pen Farm trail. Please obtain permission before entering the property. Call CWPT at (800) 298-7878. Marker is in this post office area: Fredericksburg VA 22408, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. A different marker also named Battle of Fredericksburg (here, next to this marker); The Slaughter Pen Farm (a few steps from this marker); a different marker also named Slaughter Pen Farm (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named Slaughter Pen Farm (about 800 feet away, measured in a direct line); Colonial Fort (approx. 0.2 miles away); a different marker also named Slaughter Pen Farm
Campaign Map image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, July 25, 2009
3. Campaign Map
The north seeking arrow on this map points to the right.
(approx. 0.2 miles away); a different marker also named Slaughter Pen Farm (approx. mile away); a different marker also named Slaughter Pen Farm (approx. 0.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Fredericksburg.
 
More about this marker. On the lower left is a wartime photograph. The western outskirts of Fredericksburg show the scars of war in this 1863 photograph. In the center are photographs of Gens. Lee and Burnside. While army commanders Gen. Robert E. Lee, CSA, and Gen. Ambrose E. Burnside, USA, shared somewhat similar military backgrounds - both attended West Point and fought in the Mexican War - they employed drastically different strategies at Fredericksburg. Lee remained on the defensive while Burnside employed blunt, frontal assaults. Lee's approach proved superior at this battle.

On the lower right is a campaign map. The Battle of Fredericksburg consisted mainly of Union efforts to break through strongly held Confederate positions on Prospect Hill and Marye's Heights.
 
Also see . . .
1. The Slaughter Pen. Civil War Preservation Trust virtual tour of the Slaughter Pen Farm. (Submitted on July 26, 2009, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.) 

2. Fredericksburg-Spotsylvania Battlefield
Wayside Type Markers at the Entrance to the Slaughter Pen Farm image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain
4. Wayside Type Markers at the Entrance to the Slaughter Pen Farm
. NPS web site offering more information on the Fredericksburg battlefield. (Submitted on July 26, 2009, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.) 

3. Spotsylvania County Visitor Center. More information on Spotsylvania County's rich historical resources. (Submitted on July 26, 2009, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.) 

4. Chancellorsville Battlefield. NPS site for the Chancellorsville Battlefield. (Submitted on July 26, 2009, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.) 
 
Categories. War, US Civil
 
Slaughter Pen Farm<br>Area Civil War Sites image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, July 25, 2009
5. Slaughter Pen Farm
Area Civil War Sites
Double click the photo to zoom onto the map.
The history of Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania County surrounds you. Here are just some of the other sites you can visit while you are in the area. For visitor information or to learn more about the Civil War around you, visit:
(1) Fredericksburg Battlefield Visitor Center
1013 Lafayette Boulevard, Fredericksburg, Virginia (540) 373-6122

(2) Spotsylvania County Visitor Center
4704 Southpoint Parkway, Fredericksburg, Virginia (540) 507-7090

(3) Chancellorsville Battlefield Visitor Center
9001 Plank Road, Spotsylvania, Virginia (540) 786-2880

Photos depict the Ruins of the Chancellor House, 1865 and Dead Confederate Soldiers at Fredericksburg, May 1863.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on July 26, 2009, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,040 times since then and 52 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on July 26, 2009, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.
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