Question of the Week: 12/12-12/18/22

We’re in the middle of the 160th anniversary of the battle of Fredericksburg. Which battlefield location (preserved or not) do you find most important to understanding the conflict?

8 Responses to Question of the Week: 12/12-12/18/22

  1. Meade’s Pyramid. This is the real site of where the winner and loser of the battle was determined. Had Franklin or even just Birney supported Meade’s breakthrough here the Confederate army would have been forced from the field. The location itself is miles from town and the famous stone wall. It is a good place to reflect on how massive the battle was.

  2. Slaughter Pen Farm. Visitors can understand the terrain across which Union troops advanced – and especially how the ditches caused such disruptions. We can see Howison Hill and Prospect Hill and sense how that high ground gave the Confederates a good artillery platform. Being able to walk the ground where heroes died is an incredible experience.

  3. The Millrace and terrain immediately surrounding it. If you know what to look for while walking in that part of the city, you can still get a feel for it.

  4. I am beginning to appreciate the significance of the Slaughter Pen now that I have had the chance to visit it and read about the fighting there. Fredericksburg is more than the sunken lane/wall @ Mayre’s Heights.

  5. IMO the battlefield museum has been markedly improved vs 1990’s and now gives good understanding of the conflict. The river is important to understanding the crossing before the battle and to understanding civil war tactics, how generals would often use rivers as an unassailable flank. Marye’s Heights gives the visitor excellent Confederate perspective of a battlefield advantage the ANV had. Meade’s pyramid, as already noted, because it expands the visitor’s knowledge that the battle wasn’t completely the one-sided horrible slaughter that even a chicken couldn’t have survived, which through history has come to be known as it’s thumbnail. And I would add the now sprawl surrounded Salem Church battlefield marker to the list, to enrich visitors’ understanding that, like Manassas, the Fredericksburg grounds hosted two different battles.

  6. The Rappahannock River itself as it sweeps by the town. It impacted so many of the decisions and events there.

  7. “Are you crazy?” I served in an infantry battalion for 3+ years and that is what I would’ve been thinking in 1862. Any view from the city looking up at Marye’s Heights will convince you of the futility of the operation and the courage of the Union troops.

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