A tremendous and deadly fire swept down from the front and left. The Rebels occupied the houses and were behind fences, and could not be seen except for the flash of the guns. It staggered the column, but in a moment we pressed on.... —Henry Ropes 20th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry
On December 11, 1862, the Union Army of the Potomac forced its way across the Rappahannock River and into Fredericksburg. William Barksdale's Mississippi brigade (approximately 1,600 men) slowed down the Federal lodgment, buying critical time for Robert E. Lee to gather his army on the heights beyond town, where a larger battle would be fought or December 13th. The 20th Massachusetts Regiment, shown here, advanced from the river up Hawke Street a block and a half to your left.
Painting by Don Troiani
Panel design by Jackson Foster, The I.D. Entity