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the city and valley were again veiled in fog. It was so dense no object could be distinguished 50 yards distant, and this condition lasted until nearly midday. During the afternoon a heavy skirmishing was kept up, but nothing of a serious nature occurred. Saturday the 13th, the earth was again enveloped by a fog, which did not clear away before 10 o'clock. The whole country was covered with sleet and snow, and the men stood to their places without fires, and with very scant clothing. McLaw's division was posted from the foot of Marye's Hill, where Cobb occupied the cut, extending towards the south, with Kershaw on his right, and Barksdale on the right of Kershaw, while Paul J. Semmes was held in reserve. The Washington Artillery was posted on Marye's Hill, just in the rear of Cobb, and behind Kershaw and Barksdale were two batteries of the Richmond Howitzers and the Rockbridge Battery of rifled guns. Soon after the fog had cleared away Federal officers rode boldly out and
ried with all speed towards Rapidan station. Burnside bad moved from Warrenton, destined for Richmoh cannot be matched by precedent. What General Burnside expected to accomplish by taking up positurrounding country by the 10th of the month. Burnside, however, made strong demonstrations above anto each point a part of General Lee's force. Burnside evidently expected to surprise General Lee atonfederates could not prevent the crossing of Burnside's army, but what they could do and did do, afifle pits. It was the evident purpose of General Burnside to make his main attack on the city. Majing the night. About 10 o'clock of the 11th, Burnside, annoyed because a few skirmishers were able ifle pits and hiding places. Assuredly General Burnside knew the wide destruction which would fol a savage act, unworthy of civilized war. But Burnside concentrated 200 cannon on the city. Suddenlf some kind. Under cover of the bombardment, Burnside undertook to renew his efforts to complete th[1 more...]
Ambrose P. Hill (search for this): chapter 1.4
erwise, he did not attempt it. About December 8th the river rose, and he decided to bridge it. During the delay, our forces were actively engaged building earthworks and rifle pits which crowned the heights and surrounding country by the 10th of the month. Burnside, however, made strong demonstrations above and below the city, which necessarily called to each point a part of General Lee's force. Burnside evidently expected to surprise General Lee at Fredericksburg and defeat us before A. P. Hill and Jackson could reach Fredericksburg from their positions above and below the town, but the obstructions in his pathway were sufficient to delay his passage until they were there. Fredericksburg is not a strategic point. On both sides of the Rappahannock there are hills which run parallel with the river. On the south side there is a valley from 600 to 1,500 yards wide before the hills are reached, while on the north shore the ridges are near the river. Stafford heights on the north
J. B. Kershaw (search for this): chapter 1.4
race between the two great armies which ended at Fredericksburg. McLaws' Division, composed of Kershaw's South Carolina, Semmes' Georgia, Cobb's Georgia and Barksdale's Mississippi Brigades, was undd from the foot of Marye's Hill, where Cobb occupied the cut, extending towards the south, with Kershaw on his right, and Barksdale on the right of Kershaw, while Paul J. Semmes was held in reserve. Kershaw, while Paul J. Semmes was held in reserve. The Washington Artillery was posted on Marye's Hill, just in the rear of Cobb, and behind Kershaw and Barksdale were two batteries of the Richmond Howitzers and the Rockbridge Battery of rifled gunsKershaw and Barksdale were two batteries of the Richmond Howitzers and the Rockbridge Battery of rifled guns. Soon after the fog had cleared away Federal officers rode boldly out and examined the ground between the two armies. They rode within a hundred yards of our line, but were not fired on. No one after he was wounded, General McLaws observed the enemy massing for a final effort, ordered General Kershaw to move his brigade into the cut also. Hardly had he done so, when the enemy rushed at our
November 13th (search for this): chapter 1.4
Read at Seventeenth annual reunion Louisiana Division U. C. V., Monroe, October 15, 1908, by Captain James Dinkins, member of the history committee. [The gallant Captain Dinkins has contributed frequently from his experience in the field to the newspaper press. Many graphic articles from his pen have appeared in the New Orleans Picayune.—Ed.] After the first Maryland campaign the Army of Northern Virginia rested for a short time in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley. About the 13th of November we received orders to march, and hurried with all speed towards Rapidan station. Burnside bad moved from Warrenton, destined for Richmond. Then began a race between the two great armies which ended at Fredericksburg. McLaws' Division, composed of Kershaw's South Carolina, Semmes' Georgia, Cobb's Georgia and Barksdale's Mississippi Brigades, was under Jackson at that time. It was not a question if we could reach Fredericksburg ahead of Burnside; we were obliged to do so. The weather
December 10th (search for this): chapter 1.4
hn C. Fiser, of the Seventeenth Mississippi, with his own regiment, four companies of the Eighteenth and three or four from the Twenty-first Regiment, occupied the immediate river front as a picket line, where he also dug rifle pits. It was the evident purpose of General Burnside to make his main attack on the city. Major General Lafayette McLaws, with his division, was assigned to that important position, and Barksdale was given the post of honor for the division. During the night of Dec. 10, the enemy began to lay his pontons. We could distinctly hear the noise of launching the boats and laying down the planks. The work was prosecuted with wonderful skill and energy, and by 3 o'clock a. m. of the 11th, we could hear them talking in undertones. General Barksdale directed us to remain quiet, and offer no resistance until the bridge approached our shore. About 4 o'clock a battery posted on the ridge back of the town fired a few shots at the bridge, then the Mississippians pou
December 8th (search for this): chapter 1.4
matched by precedent. What General Burnside expected to accomplish by taking up position opposite Fredericksburg we do not know, but certainly he did not anticipate such a result as followed. It may be that he expected to cross the river before the arrival of the Confederates, and doubtless could have done so under cover of his 200 cannon when he first reached the scene, because the river was low and fordable, but from prudential reasons, or otherwise, he did not attempt it. About December 8th the river rose, and he decided to bridge it. During the delay, our forces were actively engaged building earthworks and rifle pits which crowned the heights and surrounding country by the 10th of the month. Burnside, however, made strong demonstrations above and below the city, which necessarily called to each point a part of General Lee's force. Burnside evidently expected to surprise General Lee at Fredericksburg and defeat us before A. P. Hill and Jackson could reach Fredericksburg f
November 15th (search for this): chapter 1.4
en feet above the surrounding surface. It was almost square. On the plateau stood a little village, the most picturesque place the writer remembers ever to have seen. Around the bluff of the little village there was a plank fence, along which the entire population stood, waiting to see Jackson's foot cavalry pass. Therefore, when the head of the column came in view of the people, the boys fled in disorder. We finally arrived at Rapidan and crossed the river. I think it was the 15th of November. After reaching the south bank the brigade halted in a scrubby woods, and stood on the roadside while a brigade of cavalry passed. The Mississippians indulged in every species of exasperating criticisms, and declared there were no Yankees ahead, otherwise the cavalry would not be marching to the front. The men were in a laughing mood, notwithstanding sleet was falling and the ground was covered with snow. After the troopers had gone, we resumed the march. While watching the cav
December 12th (search for this): chapter 1.4
corners of houses and stone walls. The Mississippians began to retire slowly, fighting as they retreated. It was a grand sight which was witnessed by both armies. Hundreds of brave officers and men fell ere they could reach the city. General McLaws ordered Barksdale to fall back to our main line on the crest of the hills, which he did soon after dark. The fighting lasted until about that time. The brigade occupied a cut in the side of the hill until 10 o'clock the following day, December 12th. During the night of the 11th the enemy crossed over two divisions, and other troops crossed during the 12th. Barksdale had been engaged continuously for forty-eight hours, and was ordered back for rest and food. We went into camp in a woods behind Marye's Heights, where we remained until the morning of the 13th. General Thos. R. R. Cobb, with his brigade of Georgians, took position in the sunken road, or cut, at the foot of Marye's Hill, in front of the city. When the Mississippi
tood the brunt of the attack, marched over the ridge to rest, carrying their guns at a right shoulder, cheer after cheer rang out from along the line. Little hope was entertained that any of them would escape that dreadful bombardment, and when they held their ground after the bombardment had ceased, driving back line after line of the enemy, the other troops were struck with amazement and wonder, and felt a pride in their comrades which they could not conceal. When daylight dawned on the 12th, the city and valley were again veiled in fog. It was so dense no object could be distinguished 50 yards distant, and this condition lasted until nearly midday. During the afternoon a heavy skirmishing was kept up, but nothing of a serious nature occurred. Saturday the 13th, the earth was again enveloped by a fog, which did not clear away before 10 o'clock. The whole country was covered with sleet and snow, and the men stood to their places without fires, and with very scant clothing.
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