previous next

On the field of Fredericksburg.

Hon. D. Watson Rowe.
Every one remembers the slaughter and the failure at Fredericksburg; the grief of it, the momentary pang of despair. Burnside was the man of the 13th of December; than he, no more gallant soldier in all the army, no more patriotic citizen in all the republic. But he attempted there the impossible, and, as repulse grew toward disaster, lost that equal mind, which is necessary in arduous affairs. Let us remember, however, and at once, that it is easy to be wise after the event. The Army of the Potomac felt, at the end of that calamitous day, that hope itself was killed-hope, whose presence was never before wanting to that array of the unconquerable will, and steadfast purpose, and courage to persevere; the secret of its final triumph. I have undertaken to describe certain night-scenes on that field famous for bloodshed. The battle is terrible; but the sequel of it is horrible. The battle, the charging column, is grand, sublime. The field after the action and the reaction is the spectacle which harrows up the soul.

Marye's Hill was the focus of the strife. It rises in the rear of Fredericksburg, a stone's throw beyond the canal, which runs along the western border of the city. The ascent is not very abrupt. A brick house stands on the hillside, whence you may overlook Fredericksburg, and all the circumjacent country. The Orange plank road ascends the hill on the right-hand side of the house, the telegraph road on the left. A sharp rise of ground, at the foot of the heights, afforded a cover for the formation of troops. Above Marye's Hill is an elevated plateau, which commands it. The hill is

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Fredericksburg, Va. (Virginia, United States) (4)
Orange Court House (Virginia, United States) (1)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
D. Watson Rowe (1)
Burnside (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
December 13th (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: