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James and Mary Ford, eds. Every Day in the Year. 1902.

December 13

The Battle of Fredericksburg

By Kinahan Cornwallis (1883–1959)

  • One of the severest battles of the Civil War, fought on Dec. 13, 1862. The Confederates under Lee repulsed an attack made on them by the Federals under Burnside.

  • STILL onward swept the hurricane of strife,

    The duel of the North and South for life,

    And Fredericksburg its lurid havoc wrought,

    And Death, or glory, heroes bravely sought.

    Ah, bright was war’s wild devastating flame.

    Thunder and lightning seemed to play a game.

    Ne’er greater than in this was Battle’s stress,

    With Lee and Burnside moving, as in chess.

    But Burnside, sadly failing of success,

    Resigned the reins, and Hooker took command.

    The army needed there a master hand,

    And famed for daring deeds was “Fighting Joe,”

    Who, like Phil. Kearney, feared not death or foe;

    And soon the tide of battle swelled anew,

    And loud and long the roar of cannon grew.