Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Battle of Fredericksburg - Day 1

Thursday, December 11, 1862

At 8:30 A.M. the Thirteenth New Hampshire formed a line of battle near the Phillips House, the headquarters of General Edwin Sumner of the Right Grand Division. From this location the Thirteenth New Hampshire witnessed the crossing of the Rappahannock River by the Seventh Michigan and the Twentieth Massachusetts regiments under heavy fire at the Upper Pontoon Crossing. Confederate sharpshooters fired volleys into the advancing Union troops as they crossed. In order to assist the crossing General Ambrose Burnside ordered the artillery to launch barrages on the town. After a long day of hand-to-hand street fighting the roads of Fredericksburg were cleared for the Union advance and the town was under the control of the Federal troops.

At 5:00 P.M. the Thirteenth New Hampshire moved at the double-quick as darkness fell along the Falmouth side of the river for a distance of approximately a mile and one-half and crossed the Rappahannock River at the Middle Pontoon Crossing. Around 9:00 P.M. the Thirteenth New Hampshire stacks arms and bivouacs on the west side of Caroline Street. Colonel Rush Hawkins First Brigade, of which the Thirteenth New Hampshire is a part, holds the lower part of Fredericksburg for the evening.

1S. Millett Thompson, Thirteenth Regiment of New Hampshire Volunteer Infantry in the War of the Rebellion, 1861-1865 : A Diary Covering Three Years and a Day (Boston, Massachusetts: Houghton, Mifflin and Company, 1888), 36-39.

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