The Union Attacks Begin

The Union Attacks Begin (HM5CR)

Location: Fredericksburg, VA 22401
Country: United States of America

N 38° 17.698', W 77° 28.095'

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— The Battle of Fredericksburg —

In 1862 the ground in front of you was an open plain stretching from here to the outskirts of Fredericksburg, one-half mile away. As Union troops left the town to attack Marye's Heights, they had to break ranks to cross a canal ditch, then knock down fences on an old fairground. For the last 300-400 yards of their advance toward the Sunken Road, they were virtually without cover.

Eighteen Union brigades - more than 30,000 men - successively swept across the field. For eight hours the killing continued. "Our men were slaughtered like sheep," recalled one Federal soldier. "The whole plain was covered with blankets, haversacks, wounded men and dead men.... We stood it as long as we could, and were ordered to fall back - when the whole brigade broke and run...."

Every face wore an expression of seriousness and dread....
Private Benjamin Borton, 24th New Jersey Infantry

Of the many attacks made by the Union army at Fredericksburg, none was more famous than that of the Irish Brigade. Wearing sprigs of boxwood in their caps to remind them of their heritage, some men of the brigade approached to within 50 yards of the wall before withering under the Confederate fire.
HM NumberHM5CR
Placed ByFredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park - National Park Service - U.S. Dept. of the Interior
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Saturday, September 20th, 2014 at 7:31am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 284149 N 4241425
Decimal Degrees38.29496667, -77.46825000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 38° 17.698', W 77° 28.095'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds38° 17' 41.88" N, 77° 28' 5.70" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)540
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 500-540 Willis St, Fredericksburg VA 22401, US
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