Note: The Battle of Fredericksburg was fought Dec. 11-15, 1862, in and around Fredericksburg, VA, between Gen. Robert E. Lee's Confederate Army of Northern Virginia and the Union Army of the Potomac commanded by Maj. Gen. Ambrose Burnside. The Union army's futile frontal attacks on Dec. 13 against entrenched Confederate defenders on the heights behind the city is remembered as one of the most one-sided battles of the Civil War, with Union casualties more than twice as heavy as those suffered by the Confederates.

Dec. 19, 1862

Telegraphic News - By the Western Union line


Headquarters Army of the Potomac,

Falmouth, Dec. 18th

Yesterday the rebels sent, under a flag of truce, a request that we would bury our dead. A burying party accordingly went over, and continued their labor.

During the truce, Colonel Walton, Chief of Longstreet's Artillery [Confederate], informed some of our officers that only two infantry brigades were engaged Saturday in Sumner's front, but that they had a large reserve nearby.

He said that our men exhibited great bravery, but he considered the rebel position impregnable, and that a force of 500,000 would find it impossible to carry the heights in the face of their batteries.

The rebel loss was small compared with ours from the fact that they were protected by a stone wall and rifle pits...The flag of truce was withdrawn tonight after all our dead were buried.

Dec. 23, 1862

Telegraphic News - By the Western Union line

Headquarters Army of the Potomac,

Falmouth, Dec. 19th

To H.W. Halleck, General-in-Chief, Washington:

...But for the unexpected and unavoidable delay in building the bridges, which gave the enemy 24 hours more to concentrate his forces in his strong positions, we would, almost certainly, have succeeded, in which case the battle would have been, in my opinion, far more decisive than if we had crossed at the place first selected. As it was we came very near success...

I owe everything for the failure in the attack. I am responsible.

The extreme gallantry, courage and endurance shown by our soldiers, was never excelled, and we would have carried the heights if it had been possible...The fact that I decided to move from Warrenton on this line rather against the opinion of the President, Secretary of War, and yourself, and that you left the whole movement in my hands without giving me orders, makes me responsible...

I remain General, with great respect, your obedient servant,

A.E. BURNSIDE, Maj. Gen. Commanding

Dec. 29, 1862

The New Hospital

It will be seen from the letter which we publish below that it has been finally decided to establish a Military Hospital in this city. Hon. Wm. McKee Dunn has taken great interest in the matter and the result is chiefly due to his exertions:

Hon. W.M. Dunn, House of Representatives, Washington, D.C.


The Surgeon General directs me to inform you that the Medical Director at Cincinnati has been instructed to forward to the Office plans and requisitions for a Hospital at Madison, Indiana.

I am, Sir, very respectfully,

Your obedient servant,


Surgeon, U.S. Army,

Dec. 27, 1862

Shameful Outrage

Another instance of abuse of strangers by our rude city boys, occurred yesterday, P.M. A respectable looking elderly footman, apparently a traveler, was coming into the city from the west, when a number of boys beset him in the most provoking manner. One of them threw a billet of wood at his feet, either to hit or trip him. The man avoided this. They then gathered gravel, mud, sticks, etc., and threw at and upon the man as long as he was in reach. He took it all patiently, much too patiently as we believe.

On being asked why he did not cane them, as he might easily have done, he replied: "I am a stranger in this city, and do not wish to cause a disturbance."

How long will our officers overlook these almost daily and shameful occurrences?

Research conducted by the Jefferson County Civil War Roundtable.