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From Fredericksburg — desperate
fighting in the streets — the city
nearly destroyed.

The information which we have been able to obtain from the War Office, as to the condition of affairs at Fredericksburg, is of the most meagre character, notwithstanding the well-known anxiety and interest felt by the public in relation to the important events now transpiring within our army lines. Yesterday morning a brief dispatch from the telegraphic operator at Hamilton Station was received in official circles, stating that the fighting was renewed at 9 o'clock, A. M. at what point or with what result was not mentioned. A rumor was circulated on the streets yesterday that Gen. Lee. had retreated to a position about seven miles below Fredericksburg; but this was subsequently contradicted. Passengers by the evening train concur in stating that there was desperate fighting in the streets of Fredericksburg on Thursday night, in which both sides suffered severely, though the loss of the enemy was undoubtedly far greater than our own. The shelling of the town was commenced about 5 o'clock on Thursday morning, and continued with but little intermission throughout the day. The fire is said to have been terrific, and far more destructive than was at first reported. A gentleman, whose residence was destroyed, and who escaped from the town that night, under the cover of darkness says that not more than fifty buildings of any value are standing, and nearly all of these are more or less damaged. An Episcopal Church and several other handsome public buildings were entirely destroyed. There were a number of citizens in the town at the time that the shelling commenced, among whom were women and children — These were compelled to seek shelter in the basements of their houses, until night come on, when they fled for their lives, the most of them on foot, to find a refuge within our lines. This is justly regarded as the most unprovoked and wanton exhibition of brutality that has yet disgraced the Yankee army.

Heavy firing of artillery and musketry was heard yesterday morning in the vicinity of Fredericksburg and continued up to the time of the departure of the train. The enemy had succeeded in constructing three pontoon bridges in the neighborhood of Deep Run and landed a force estimated at from forty to fifty thousand men. These are said to have been engaged by the forces of Gens. Cubb, Barksdale and Kershaw. The fighting is represented to have been more of the character of heavy skirmishing than of a regular battle, in which our forces were exposed to a heavy fire from the batteries of the enemy planted upon the adjacent commanding bluffs. Under protection of this fire the Yankees succeeded in effecting their landing, our forces falling back in good order, and with but little lets. It is generally believed that the grand and decisive engagement will occur to-morrow (Sunday)

P. S.--Since willing the above we learn from an official source that there was no fighting yesterday. This is indirect contradiction to the various reports that were given us with great confidence by several intelligent gentlemen who left the vicinity of Fredericksburg yesterday morning.

[from our own Reporter]

Summit, 3 miles from Fredericksburg, 12 o'clock M., Dec.12, 1862
The care have just been signalled to stop at this point. Parties from the town report that nearly the entire town is destroyed, nearly every house having been perforated by the enemy's cannonading yesterday. The Post-Office block was fired and burned. The Virginia Bank and the Southern M. E. Church were also burned. A large force of the enemy crossed last night at the town, and a severe street fight ensued — our troops retiring and leaving the place in the hands of the enemy. There is a report that three women were killed by the shelling yesterday, but it lacks confirmation. It is also said that an entire infantry company of ours, on picket duty, was captured the morning. No general fight is going on, but brisk infantry firing is heard in a northeasterly direction, supposed, from the sound, to be some miles below Fredericksburg.

The whole of our forces are this morning to the front, and it is expected the fight will become general, before night. Of the citizens who remained in the town, only three stayed to claim the protection of the enemy, the others escaping last night.

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Deep Run (Virginia, United States) (1)
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Charles Lee (1)
Kershaw (1)
Cubb (1)
Clement R. Barksdale (1)
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December 12th, 1862 AD (1)
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