The Union Plan to Take Fredericksburg: The Bridges that a Band of Music Threatened

Brady, Mathew (1822-1896) The Photographic History of the Civil War in Ten Volumes: Volume 2 1862

Erasmus Corwin Gilbreath wrote about the execution of General Ambrose Burnside’s plan for Fredericksburg, Virginia:

“On the 20th of November all the Union Army was about Falmouth. Genl. Lee concentrated his Army very slowly and not until after the 26th of November did all his forces arrive at Fredericksburg. Burnside had called for pontoons on the 13th of November, but they did not arrive from Washington until the 24th. They could have reached Falmouth on the 15th of November by way of Aquia Creek, but parts of them were sent over land from Washington instead of by the river. This delay defeated the first part of Burnside’s plan. There were no quick crossing and no seizure of Fredericksburg.”

Photograph of the pontoon boat bridges across the Rappahannock River.