Every one remembers the slaughter and the failure at Fredericksburg
; the grief of it, the momentary pang of despair.
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.
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