Chatham Heights in Stafford County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
A Bloody Crossing
At 5 a.m. Confederate musket fire burst from cellars and windows across the river. Those engineers not shot down scrambled for cover on the shore. Union cannon atop these heights responded with an eight-hour-long bombardment that ravaged the city but failed to silence the Confederates. Only by ferrying troops across the river under fire was the Union army able to drive the Confederates from the town and complete the bridges.
Such a feeling of anxiety and suspense I never experienced. I could scarcely breathe.
Sergeant Clark Baurer, 50th NY Engineers, watching the bridge builders about to come under fire.
Erected 2007 by Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park, National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior.
Location. 38° 18.493′ N, 77° Touch for map. Marker is located at Chatham Manor, part of the Fredericksburg National Military Park. Marker is at or near this postal address: 120 Chatham Ln, Fredericksburg VA 22405, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Pontoon Bridges (here, next to this marker); Between Battles (here, next to this marker); Bombardment (a few steps from this marker); Beleaguered Town (a few steps from this marker); A “Picture of Desolation” (within shouting distance of this marker); A Changed Landscape (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); Sow…Tend…Harvest (about 500 feet away); Beyond the Big House (about 600 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Chatham Heights.
More about this marker. The painting, entitled Essayons: Engineers at Fredericksburg by Dale Gallon, depicts soldiers of the Fiftieth New York Engineers try unsuccessfully to complete their pontoon bridge under fire along the east bank of the Rappanhannock River opposite Fredericksburg, Virginia, December 11, 1862. It is captioned, "Laying the two bridges cost the Union army twelve hours and dozens of lives."
Also see . . .
1. Old Photo of Pontoon Bridge (Submitted on August 12, 2008, by Al Wolf of Veedersburg, Indiana.)
2. Canvas Pontoon Boat for a Bridge. This old Civil War photo helps to understand the degree of advancement existing during their times. (Submitted on August 12, 2008, by Al Wolf of Veedersburg, Indiana.)
3. Essayons: Engineers at Fredericksburg. A link to the marker picture's ordering information on the Gallon Historical Art, Inc. website. (Submitted on January 14, 2008, by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia.)
Categories. • Military • Notable Events • War, US Civil • Waterways & Vessels •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on January 14, 2008, by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,150 times since then and 48 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on January 14, 2008, by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia. 3. submitted on December 14, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.