Fredericksburg City Dock

Fredericksburg City Dock (HM2N)

Location: Fredericksburg, VA 22401
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Country: United States of America
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N 38° 17.791', W 77° 27.218'

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Contesting the Crossing

Confederate troops under the command of Gen. William Barksdale were awake and alert hereon the morning of December 11,1862, waiting anxiously for the sun to rise. On the river, unseen in the inky blackness but clearly audible in the night's stillness, Union engineers were constructing a pontoon bridge that would enable Gen. Ambrose E. Burnside's Army of the Potomac to cross the Rappahannock River and seize Fredericksburg. Barksdale's task was to delay the Union crossing long enough for the rest of the Confederate army to take position on the heights behind the town, one mile ahead of you.

As the sun rose, Barksdale's men could vaguely discern the shadowy figures of the Union engineers, now just a few dozen yards from the Confederate shore. Shots broke down the silence - first one or two, then hundreds. Engineers fell dead on the bridge or dashed to the safety of the opposite shore. Union cannon replied to the Confederate fire with a savage but largely ineffective bombardment of the town. Time and again, engineers dashed out to complete the bridge only to be driven back by sharpshooters concealed behind walls and in houses like the one in front of you.

For ten hours the fighting continued. About 4 p.m., soldiers from New York, Michigan, and Massachusetts rowed across the river under fire and pushed the Confederates back from the water's edge, The engineers completed the bridges, and the next day more than 30,000 Union soldiers poured across. But Barksdale's stubborn stand had bought Gen. Robert E. Lee the time he needed to assemble his army on the hills behind the town. The stage was set for a slaughter at Fredericksburg.
HM NumberHM2N
Series This marker is part of the Virginia Civil War Trails series
Placed ByCivil War Trails
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Monday, October 13th, 2014 at 1:55am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 285432 N 4241563
Decimal Degrees38.29651667, -77.45363333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 38° 17.791', W 77° 27.218'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds38° 17' 47.46" N, 77° 27' 13.08" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)540
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 205-299 Sophia St, Fredericksburg VA 22401, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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