Burnside Throws Down the Gauntlet – Lincoln Must Decide

January 24, 1863 (Saturday) With his whiskers caught up in a dander of spite and fury, General Ambrose Burnside had relieved nine officers under him in the Army of the Potomac, including Joe Hooker and William Franklin, his top two Grand Division commanders. A house cleaning such as this, however, needed the Presidential seal ofRead More

“You Will Presently Hear of Something That Will Astonish You All!”

January 23, 1863 (Friday) “You will presently hear of something that will astonish you all!” exclaimed Ambrose Burnside to his lunch guests, Generals William Franklin and “Baldy” Smith. Burnside had seen the two passing his headquarters, returning worn out and bedraggled from the failed “Mud March” – the attempt to get around General Lee’s leftRead More

To Hell With Burnside Stuck in the Mud!

January 22, 1863 (Thursday) At least the rains had died down. The previous day, Ambrose Burnside and his men were inundated with floods and torrents as they attempted to march around the Confederate left flank at Fredericksburg. The plan had been to cross the Rappahannock, assemble near Salem Church and take the entire Rebel armyRead More

Burnside’s Mud March – A Hellish Slog

January 21, 1863 (Wednesday) The rain had fallen all through the night, periodically turning to sleet here and there. This wasn’t just rain, however. It was an absolute deluge with howling winds and bitterly cold temperatures. Roads that had been dry were now rivers. Fields of grass were now seas of pooling water and thick,Read More

Burnside Sees Hand of God in His Coming Flank Attack

January 20, 1863 (Tuesday) The beautiful sunny yesterday gave way to winds and clouds, turning the brilliant blue sky above Fredericksburg, Virginia into thick gray soup. Still, Ambrose Burnside’s heart could not be contained. The campaign that he had planned, canceled, replanned, canceled again, and once again replanned was about to happen. Soon, he wouldRead More

Burnside: Auspicous Weather and News Indicate Hand of God in Coming Campaign

January 19, 1863 Oh! It was a beautiful day in and around Fredericksburg, Virginia. The sky was clear, the sun was shining and the temperatures not too chilly. In fact, this was the most beautiful respite from a series of gray and windy, yet not rainy or snowy, days. General Ambrose Burnside, commander of theRead More

Bad News For Burnside – Good News For Everyone Else

January 18, 1863 (Sunday) Ambrose Burnside had postponed his new campaign for twenty-four hours. But as the new time neared, he was still unsure. The plan had been to get around General Lee’s left flank at Fredericksburg, cross the Rappahannock River and get between the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia and the capital at Richmond.Read More

Franklin Tries to Slowly Back Away from Burnside’s New Plan

January 17, 1863 (Saturday) General Ambrose Burnside was nearly ready to make his move. His plan, opposed by most everybody in his Army of the Potomac, was one of diversion. Edwin Sumner’s Grand Division was to make some sort of demonstration along the banks of the Rappahonnock to convince the Rebels, across the river inRead More

General Burnside’s New New Plan

January 15, 1863 (Thursday) The question was not an easy one – what to do with the Army of the Potomac? Since the Battle of Fredericksburg, General Ambrose Burnside had moved not at all. But that didn’t mean he did nothing. On December 30, over two weeks after the smoke had cleared, Burnside received aRead More