Print of the Army of the Potomac crossing the Rapahannock River at the Battle of Fredericksburg

On December 12, 1862, soldiers of the Union Army of the Potomac crossed the Rappahannock River into the town of Fredericksburg, Virginia. [Wikimedia Commons]

Battle of Fredericksburg Facts

December 11–15, 1862

Key facts about the American Civil War Battle of Fredericksburg.

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Also known as:

  • Battle of Marye’s Heights

Date:

  • December 11–15, 1862

Location:

  • Spotsylvania County and Fredericksburg, Virginia

Campaign:

  • Fredericksburg

Principal Union commander:

  • Major General Ambrose E. Burnside

Principal Confederate commander:

  • General Robert E. Lee

Union forces engaged:

  • Army of the Potomac

Confederate forces engaged:

  • Army of Northern Virginia

Number of Union soldiers engaged:

  • Roughly 114,000

Number of Confederate soldiers engaged:

  • Roughly 72,500

Estimated Union casualties:

  • 12,653 (killed, wounded and missing/captured)

Estimated Confederate casualties:

  • 5,377 (killed, wounded and missing/captured)

Result:

  • Confederate victory

Significance:

  • Union commander Major General Ambrose E. Burnside had been in charge of the Army of the Potomac only about one month before the Battle of Fredericksburg.
  • Many historians consider the Battle of Fredericksburg to be the most one-sided Confederate victory of the American Civil War.
  • The Battle of Fredericksburg ended Union commander Ambrose E. Burnside’s attempt to invade Virginia.
  • 1,284 Union soldiers were killed at the Battle of Fredericksburg.
  • 608 Confederate soldiers were killed at the Battle of Fredericksburg.
  • Union commander Ambrose E. Burnside’s Army of the Potomac was forced to retreat from Virginia after the Battle of Fredericksburg.
  • President Lincoln was severely criticized in the North following the Union defeat at the Battle of Fredericksburg.
  • On January 26, 1863, about six weeks after the Battle of Fredericksburg, President Lincoln replaced Major General Ambrose E. Burnside with Major General Joseph Hooker as commander of the Army of the Potomac.
  • Following the Battle of Fredericksburg, General Robert E. Lee and his army became even more certain of their invincibility, a mindset that would serve them well during the next major battle of the war at Chancellorsville.
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Citation Information

The following information is provided for citations.

  • Article Title Battle of Fredericksburg Facts
  • Coverage December 11–15, 1862
  • Author
  • Website Name American History Central
  • Access Date August 1, 2021
  • Publisher R.Squared Communications, LLC
  • Original Published Date
  • Date of Last Update May 11, 2021
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