Fredericksburg - Marye's Heights
December 13, 1862
Burnside had originally planned to attack Marye's Heights from his Fredericksburg bridgehead only after Franklin had successfully pushed back Jackson's flank. Despite Franklin's failure, Burnside stubbornly ordered an assault.
This is the view from Chatham, Burnside's headquarters during the battle. Burnside had little idea of the reality of the situation here. He also ordered Gen. Sumner, commanding the troops in the first attacks, to stay at Chatham. Union artillery batteries deployed along this high ground above the Rappahannock but could do little damage to Lee's army on Marye's Heights, somewhat obscured by fog in this picture. Nearby, two pontoon bridges used by Union troops spanned the river.
This is a view of the Sunken Road from about halfway up Marye's Heights. The NPS Visitors' Center is on the far right. Men of Cobb's Georgia Brigade lined this road protected by a four foot stone wall. Artillery and infantry fire from atop Marye's Heights along with the fire of Cobb's brigade stopped the first Union attack at about 1 P.M. Cobb was mortally wounded and his brigade was reinforced until men stood four deep in the Sunken Road. Brigade after brigade of Yankees attacked but none of them reached the wall.
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