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Fredericksburg Ours!


November-December 1862

From The Missouri Democrat, Friday, December 12, 1862.


Fredericksburg Ours!



Rebels Fire Upon the Engineers From the Houses.



Indications of a Great Battle To-Day.

[Special Dispatch to the Missouri Democrat.]

WASHINGTON, December 11, 8:30 P. M.—-Fredericksburg is ours, and all is well.

The dispatches previously received give few particulars but we expect to get them yet to-night.

The 7th Michigan is identified as having a flag of the enemy.

Fredericksburg is almost in ruins.

[To the Associated Press.]

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, [illegible]—9 A. M.—-Everything last night was bustle and activity, as to-day was the time used for crossing the river. During the night the pontoons were conveyed to the river, and the artillery, consisting of 143 pieces, placed in position opposite the city. At 5 o’clock this morning the rebels fired two signal guns, and during the latter part of the night pickets were frequently seen within their lines.

At 5 o’clock the construction of three bridges in front of the city was completed. When the bridges were about half completed, the enemy opened a murderous fire of infantry from the houses on the river bank. Up to this time not a shot had been fired from our side. The engineers were driven from the bridges, and several killed and wounded. At 6 o’clock General Burnside ordered all the guns to be opened on the city. The cannonade, which has continued up to the present time, is terrible. The city is on fire, and its destruction appears certain.

About 7 A. M., the enemy opened with their heavy guns from their works, but so far they have done no serious injury. General Franklin constructed his bridge about three miles below the city, meeting with slight opposition. His troops are now crossing, and the gunboats are shelling the enemy about fifteen miles down the river, where they have been concentrating their forces for the past few days.

The concentrated fire of our batteries on the city has had the effect of driving back the enemy’s infantry, and the work on the bridges has again been commenced. The troops are all under arms near the river prepared to rush across as soon as the bridges are completed.


THURSDAY NOON.—-On the attempt being made to finish the bridges in front of the city, the rebel infantry again opened their fire, when our artillery in position was again opened on the city, the result being that the city was fired in several new places.

The enemy has used very little artillery up to this time, as it would endanger their men who are holding the river front. General Burnside has just issued an order to concentrate every available gun upon the city, under cover of which it is believed the bridges can be finished. The killed and wounded do not amount to more than fifty men.


HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, December 11, evening.—-But little firing took place between one and two o’clock, during which time all the available batteries were placed in position, numbering 176 guns. At a signal all opened on the city. The fire was terrible, but still the rebel sharpshooters could not be driven from their hiding places. The shot and shell went through the houses in many cases, setting them on fire, causing a dense smoke, which, together with the explosion of a so large a quantity of powder, almost hid the city from view.

It soon became evident that the bridges could not be built, except by a bold dash. Volunteers were called for to cross the river in small boats. The order was no sooner given than hundreds stepped forward, but could not all go. About 100 were selected. They were soon on their way, while the artillery threw a perfect shower of iron hail on the opposite bank. They reached the opposite bank. They reached the opposite shore, but not without loss. With fixed bayonets they rushed upon the enemy, killing and taking 101 prisoners, who were safely landed on this side.

At half-past four, two bridges were finished opposite the city, when the troops immediately began to cross over. The enemy were soon driven from the city back to their line of works. The two bridges in front of General Franklin were successfully laid early in the day, but his troops did not cross until the two upper ones were ready. A sufficient force is now on the opposite side of the river to resist any attack that is likely to be made.

The rebels fired but two guns in the morning and none in the afternoon, although their works were in easy range.

During the forenoon, the rebels burnt the railroad bridge outside the city.

Between 30 and 40 houses were burnt in the business part of the city.

During the day between 8,000 and 9,000 rounds of ammunition were fired by our artillery.

Everything is quiet to-night, but the indications are that a battle will be fought to-morrow.