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Fredericksburg, February, 1863. In the foreground, looking from what is approximately the same position as the opening picture, are three guns of Tyler's Connecticut battery. It was from all along this ridge that the town had suffered its bombardment in December of the previous year. Again the armies were separated by the Rappahannock River. There was a new commander at the head of the Army of the Potomac-General Hooker. The plundered and deserted town now held by the Confederates was to be made the objective of another attack. The heights beyond were once more to be assaulted; bridges were to be rebuilt. But all to no purpose. This ground of much contention was deserted some time before Lee advanced to his invasion of Pennsylvania. Very slowly the inhabitants of Fredericksburg had returned to their ruined homes. The town was a vast Federal cemetery, the dead being buried in gardens and backyards, for during its occupancy almost every dwelling had been turned into a temporary hospital. After the close of the war these bodies were gathered and a National Cemetery was established on Willis' Hill, on Marye's Heights, the point successfully defended by Lee's veterans.

Heavy pontoon-boats, each on its separate wagon, were sometimes as necessary as food or ammunition. At every important crossing of the many rivers that had to be passed in the Peninsula Campaign the bridges had been destroyed. There were few places where these streams were fordable. Pontoons, therefore, made a most important adjunct to the Army of the Potomac.

The detained guns

Pontoon-boats in transit


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