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own 40,000 men, was röenforced, the of the two corps of Reynolds (16,000) night before, by two divisions (Kear- and W.F. Smith (21,000), with cavny's and Hooker's own) from Hook-alry under Bayard, raising it nearly er, raising his command nearly to or quite to 40,000. At 9 A. M., Rey55,000. At least half our entire force nolds advanced on the left; Meade's across the river was thus with Frank- division, in front, being immediately lin on the left, where the main attack assailed by Rebel batteries (J. E. B. manifestly should have been inade, Stuart's) on his left flank, which comand where Burnside appears to have pelled him to halt and silence them. purposed that it should have been At 11 A. M., he pushed on, fighting; made. But it was after 7 A. M. of the while one of Hooker's divisions in fatal day when Franklin received his reserve was brought across, and Birorders; which, if they were intended ney's and Gibbon’s divisions were to direct a determined attack in full moved up to liis support. Reynolds's force, were certainly very blindly and corps being thus all in line of battle, vaguely worded," whereas, a military Meade again gallantly advanced into order should be as precise and clear as the woods in his front; grappling, at language will allow, and as positive as 1, in fierce encounter, with A. P. the circumstances will warrant. It is Hill's corps, crushing back the brigvery certain that a Massena or a Blu- ades of Archer and Lane, and, forcing cher could have found warrant in that his way in between them, took some order for attacking at once with his 200 prisoners. Here, in attempting entire corps, leaving Hooker's men to rally Orr's rifles, which had been to defend the bridges and act as a disorganized, fell Brig.-Gen. Maxcy reserve; but, if hot work is wanted Gregg," mortally wounded of a Franklin, it should be required But the enemy rallied all their and prescribed in terms more peremp- forces; Early’s division, composed of tory and less equivocal. He asserts Lawton's, Trimble's, and his own that he expected and awaited further brigades, which, with D. H. Hill's orders, which he never in terms re- corps, had arrived that morning from ceived ; at least, not till it was too Port Royal, after a severe nightlate to obey them with any hope of march, and been posted behind A. P. success.

IIill, rushed to the front; and Meade's Franklin's grand division consisted division, lacking prompt support,

12 "Gen. Hardie will carry this dispatch to moves by columns, distant from each other, with you and remain with you during the day. The | a view of avoiding the possibility of a collision General commanding directs that you keep your of our own forces, which might occur in a gene. whole command in position for a rapid move ral movement during the fog. Two of Gen. ment down the old Richmond road, and you will Hooker's divisions are in your rear at the send out at once a division, at least, to pass be:

bridges, and will remain there as supports. low Smithfield, to seize, if possible, the heights Copies of instructions to Gens. Sumner and ncar Capt. Hamilton's, on this side of the Massa. | Hooker will be forwarded to you by an Orderly ponax, taking care to keep it well supported and very soon. You will keep your whole command its line of retreat open. He has ordered another in readiness to move at once as soon as the fog column, of a division or more, to be moved from lifts. The watchword. which, if possible, should Gen. Sumner's command up the plank road to be given to every company, will be 'Scott.' its intersection of the telegraph road, where they i "I have the honor to be, General, very rewill divide, with a view to seizing the heights spectfully, your obedient servant, on both of those roads. Holding these heights,

“John G. PARKE, Chief of Staff. with the heights near Capt. Hamilton's, will, i “Major-Gen. FRANKLIN, Commanding Grand hope, compel the enemy to evacuate the whole

Division Army of Potomac." ridge between these points. He makes these! 13 Governor elect of South Carolina.



were again burined Rebel charge, isock. The 9th New

was overwhelmed and driven back, | The advance of Reynolds's left was with heavy loss, to the railroad, which for some time retarded by Stuart's they had crossed in their advance, cavalry, holding the extreme Rebel where they made a brief stand, but right, whose battery opened a most were again hurled back by an im- annoying cross-fire on our infantry petuous, determined Rebel charge, as it advanced from the Rappahanlosing many prisoners. . nock. The 9th New York was first

Meade had already called for aid: sent to take this battery, but failed and Gen. Gibbon had advanced on taking to their heels instead ; when his right, and one of Birney's brig. a brigade was brought up by Gen. ades on his left, whereby the enemy Tyler, and charged with no better were checked and repulsed; Col. At success. A third charge was stopped kinson, commanding Lawton's brig- by the deadly fire of the Rebel batade, being here wounded and taken tery; when more troops were brought prisoner. Meade's division fell back, up on our side, and the enemy at having lost 1,760 men this day out length flanked and gradually crowdsome 6,000 engaged; having, of its ed back to the Massaponax; but they three Brigadiers, Gen. C. F. Jackson still maintained a bold front, and killed, and Col. Wm. T. Sinclair se- kept up the contest till nightfall; verely wounded. Maj.-Gen. Gibbon, having succeeded in diverting from on his right, was also wounded and Reynolds's main attack in front a taken off the field; whereupon, his force which he could ill afford to division fell back also.

spare. Sickles's division of Hooker's men, Our losses on this bloody day were which had followed Birney's to the not less than 15,000 men; though front, took the place of Gibbon's; but the number returned as actually Smith's corps-21,000 strong-was killed, wounded, and taken prisoners, not sent in, and remained nearer to foots up but 13,771—as follows: Fredericksburg, not determinedly engaged throughout the day. Yet, even Reynolds's and Stoneman’s corps Engineers ....... (the latter composed of Birney's and Total................1,152 9,101 3,234 13,771 Sickles's divisions) showed so strong. Not one of these died more laa front that Stonewall Jackson did mented than Maj.-Gen. George D. not venture to assume the offensive Bayard, cominanding our cavalry on till nightfall; when a very brief ex- the left, who was struck by a shell perience convinced him that he might and mortally wounded; dying that better let well alone."

night. But 28 years old, and on the ** Jackson, with exemplary candor, says in to make preparations for the attempt. In order his official report :

to guard against disaster, the infantry was to bo " Repulsed on the right, left, and center, the preceded by artillery, and the movement postenemy, soon after, rëformed his lines, and gave poned until late in the evening; so that, if comsome indications of a purpose to renew the atë pelled to retire, it would be under the cover of tack. I waited some time to receive it; but, he night. Owing to unexpected delay, the move. making no forward movement, I determined, if ment could not be got ready till late in the eveprudent, to do so myself. The artillery of the ning. The first gun had hardly moved forward enemy was so judiciously posted as to make an from the wood a hundred yards, when the eneadvance of our troops across the plain very my's artillery rëopened, and so completely swept hazardous; yet it was so promising of good re. our front as to satisfy me that t!e proposed sults, if successfully executed, as to induce me I movement should be abandoned.”.

Killed, Wound. Mirx'g. Total. Hooker's grand dirision..... 327 2.469 7453548 Franklin's grand division... 338 2.430 1,631 4,679 Sumner's grand division.... 450 4,159 $55 5,494

.. 7 43 1 00 50

eve of marriage, his death fell like a | life, a nobler spirit, a grander, more pall on many loving hearts.

benignant destiny! Lee at first reported his losses at “about 1,800 killed and wounded” It would be incredible on any tes-one of those preposterous misrepre- timony less conclusive than his own" sentations to which commanders on that Gen. Burnside, on the very heel either side were too prone. His ac- of this prodigal, horrible carnage, retual loss, as embodied in the detailed solved to attack again next day, and reports of Longstreet and Jackson, on the very point where the enemy's was over 5,000," and may probably lines had been proved impregnable at be fairly estimated at 6,000, including a cost of 10,000 men. Another butch500 unwounded prisoners. He claims ery as fruitless and still more demorto have taken 900 prisoners and 9,000 | alizing would doubtless have been insmall arms, but no guns.

curred, but for the timely and forciThus closed what the exulting cor ble remonstrance of stern old Sumner respondent at Lee's headquarters of —who never kept out of a fight when The Times (London) calls “a memo there was a shadow of excuse for gorable day to the historian of the De-ing in—and who protested, backed cline and Fall of the American Re- by nearly every General in the army, public.” Not so, O owl-eyed scribe! | against such suicidal madness. Burnbut rather one of those days of side finally gave way, and thus probbloody baptism from whose regen- ably saved the 9th corps (of old, his erating flood that Republic was di- own) from useless, inexcusable sacrivinely appointed to rise to a purer | fice.

15 Longstrect reports his losses thus: killed, the enemy into their next line, and, by going in 251; wounded, 1,516; missing, 127: total, 1,894, with them, they would not be able to fire upon Jackson gives his as–killed, 344; wounded,

us to any great extent. I left Gen. Sumner with 2,545; missing, 526: total, 3,415: grand total,

that understanding, and directed him to give the

order. The order was given, and the column of 5,309. Among their killed, beside those already

attack was formed. mentioned, was Brig-Gen. T. R. R. Cobb, of Ga., “The next morning, just before the column brother of Howell Cobb. Among their wound was to have started, Gen. Sumner came to mo ed, were Brig.-Gens. J. R. Cooke and W. D. and said: “General, I hope you will desist from Pender.

this attack: I do not know of any general officer 18 He says, in his testimony before the Com

who approves of it; and I think it will prove

disastrous to the army.' Advice of that kind mittee on the Conduct of the War:

from Gen. Sumner, who has always been in favor • The two attacks were made, and we were of an advance whonever it was possible, caused epulsed; still holding a portion of the ground me to hesitate. I kept the column of attack we had fought upon, but not our extreme ad formed, and sent over for the division and corps vance.

commanders, and consulted with them. They “That night, I went all over the field on our unanimously voted against the attack. I then right; in fact, I was with the officers and men went over to see the other officers of the comuntil nearly daylight. I found the feeling to be mand on the other side, and found that the ramo rather against an attack the next morning; in impression prevailed among them. I then sent fact, it was decidedly against it.

for Gen. Franklin, who was on the left, and l.o I returned to my headquarters, and, after was of exactly the same opinion. This caused conversation with Gen. Sumner, told him that I me to decide that I ought pot to make the attack wanted him to order the 9th army corps—which I had contemplated. And besides, inasmuch as was the corps I originally commanded-to form the President of the United States had told më the next morning a column of attack by regi. | not to be in haste in making this attack: that ments. It consisted of some 18 old regiments, he would give me all the support that he couid, and some new ones; and I desired the column to but he did not want the Army of the Potomac make a direct attack upon the enemy's works. destroyed, I felt that I could not take tho responI thought that these regiments, by coming quick- sibility of ordering the attack, notwithstanding ly up after each otiier, would be able to carry my own belief at the time that the works of the the stone wall and the batteries in front, forcing | enemy could be carried."




The two armies stood facing each body of his army. But how could other throughout the 14th and 15th: he know at once how severely we Lee strengthening his defenses and had suffered? And, even if he did awaiting a renewal of the attack; know, would it have been wise to Burnside at length deciding to with- rush his men upon our batteries, as draw all but Hooker's corps across ours had been rushed upon his the river, and continue to hold Fred-Jackson had decided against this, ericksburg; but this he finally gave when in the flush of his success; and up, on Hooker's representation that he decided wisely. To push forward he should be unable to hold the town; their men till under the fire of our and decided to rëcross his entire army heavy guns, commandingly posted on during the night of the 15th; which our side of the Rappahannock, would was quietly effected without serious have been to imitate Burnside's blunloss. A few of our desperately wound-der; and they had not 15,000 men ed, a few pickets, and considerable to spare." ammunition, were left by us in Fred General Burnside's errors in this ericksburg; but Franklin did not lose movement were errors of judgment a man; and not one gun was aban- only; and these were nobly redeemed doned as a trophy of this ill-starred by his subsequent conduct and bearadvance on Richmond. Our pon- ing. Though he had accepted the toons were all taken up and brought chief command with unfeigned reoff; the Rebels next day réoccupy-luctance and self-distrust, and keenly ing Fredericksburg and their side felt that he had not been fairly treatof the river; and thenceforth pickets ed in the matter of the pontoons, and and sharp-shooters fired across the that Franklin had not done his best stream, whenever any temptation to in the hour of trial, he excused others a shot was afforded, with as business- and took all the blame on himself. In like an air as though the Rappahan- his report to Gen. Ilalleck,'' he says: nock had always been the boundary

“But for the fog, and the unexpected and of two hostile empires, over which no unavoidable delay in building the bridges, armed force had ever ventured.

which gave the enemy 24 hours to concen

trate his forces in his strong position, we Lee has been blamed for not follow-| should almost certainly have succeeded; in ing up his advantage; and it is just which case, the battle would have been, in

my opinion, far more decisive than if we possible that he might have made

had crossed at the places first selected. As it something by a tremendous bom was, we came very near success. Failing bardment of the town while still

in accomplishing the main object, we re

mained in order of battle two days-long crowded with our decimated, dis

enough to decide that the enemy would not heartened troops-possibly by a sud come out of his stronghold to fight me with den. determined assault upon it, or this side of the river unmolested, without

his infantry-after which, we rëcrossed to upon Franklin's wing, with the great the loss of men or property.

17 Lee's 'General Order No. 38,' dated Dec. sand of this brave army; and its columns, 21, congratulating his army on their success in crushed and broken, hurled back at every point, this encounter, says:

with such fearful slaughter, that escape from en

tire destruction became the boast of those who “The immense army of the enemy completed

had advanced in full confidence of victory." its preparations for the attack without interruption, and gave battle in its own time, and on |

This is so unfair as to be essentially false, and ground of its own selection.

quite unworthy of a great soldier. " It was encountered by less than twenty thou- ! 14 Dec. 19.


“ As the day broke, our long lines of | While the Rebel chiefs were controops were seen marching to their different positions as it going on parade-not the

gratulating each other that the Army ast demoralization or disorganization ex- / of the Potomac had been paralyzed,

at least for the Winter, he was plan"To the brave officers and soldiers who accomplished the feat of thus rēcrossing in

ning a fresh and determined advance the face of the enemy, I owe every thing. on Richmond. Within a fortnight For the failure in the attack, I am respon

after his bloody repulse, he ordered" sible; as the extreme gallantry, courage, and endurance shown by them were never rations cooked, wagons packed, and exceeded, and would have carried the points every thing made ready for a general had it been possible. " To the families and friends of the dead, I

movement; intending to make a I can only offer my heartfelt sympathies; feint above Fredericksburg, but to but for the wounded, I can offer my earnest

cross at the Sedden House, six or prayer for their comfort and final recovery.

"The fact that I decided to move from seven miles below; while 2,500 cavWarrenton on to this line rather against the alry, with 4 guns, crossing at Kelly's opinion of the President, Secretary of War, and yourself, and that you have left the

ford, were to raid across the Virginia whole movement in my hands, without giv Central, the Lynchburg and the Weling me orders, makes me the more respon- don Railroads, blowing up the locks sible."

| on the James River Canal ; crossing But General Burnside's usefulness the Nottoway, and reporting to Gen. as commander of the Army of the Peck, in command at Suffolk; while Potomac was at an end. Officers several other flying expeditions were and soldiers alike felt that he had to distract the enemy's attention and sadly misjudged in ordering an as- deceive him as to the significance of sault on the bristling heights south the general movement. He had just of Fredericksburg—still more,in seek-given the initial impulse to this ing to repeat that assault after the combined movement, when a telebloody, calamitous experience of the gram from the President arrested it; 13th-and the popularity of Mc- and, repairing at once to WashingClellan was immensely strengthened ton, Gen. B. learned that represenand widened by that disastrous re- tations had been made at headquarpulse. Whatever his faults, 'Little ters by certain of his subordinates, Mac'had ever been careful of the prompted and sustained by others, lives of his men; and this fact was that, if he were permitted to proceed, now remembered to his credit. Had in the existing temper of the army, the army been polled for the choice he would inevitably incur disasters of a commander at any time during so grave as to signally belittle, if not the month following our withdrawal wholly efface, those of the recent failfrom Fredericksburg, it is probable ure. In deference to these representhat McClellan would have had a de- tations, the President had telegraphed cisive majority, and morally certain as he did; and the Secretary of War that Burnside's supporters would and the General-in-chief, though now have proved a still more indubitable for the first time apprised of the clanminority.

destine communications of army offiThe latter, however, had no idea cers to Mr. Lincoln, failed even to of sitting down under his defeat. attempt a removal of the impression 10 Dec. 26.

30 Dec. 30.

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