Friday, December 14, 2012

December 15, 1862 (Monday): Burnside Prepares to Exit

Barnard House, Fredericksburg, Destroyed in Battle (Library of Congress)

HEADQUARTERS, December 15, 1862-7.15.
Yesterday was spent by the enemy in caring for his wounded and burying his dead. He retains his position under cover of his guns on the north bank of the Rappahannock.

    R. E. LEE,
    General, Commanding.

    Honorable JAMES A. SEDDON.

HEADQUARTERS, December 15, 1862.
    No attempt to advance has been made by the enemy to-day. He has been busy collecting his dead and wounded, and this afternoon sent a flag of truce to obtain those within our lines. He commenced this evening to fortify his position. General [George D.] Bayard, U. S. Cavalry, and General [C. Feger] Jackson, of Pennsylvania, were killed on the 13th.

     R. E. LEE.

     Honorable JAMES A. SEDDON.

Major-General HOOKER,
Commanding Center Grand Division:
    GENERAL: The commanding general directs that all the troops now occupying the right bank of the Rappahannock be withdrawn to-night, excepting General Butterfield's corps, which will occupy and hold Fredericksburg. Major-General Sumner has given orders that his command be removed, under your directions. The two divisions of your command now on the left will be ordered to rejoin you as soon as they cross the river.
    Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

    JNO. G. PARKE,
    Chief of Staff.

Official Records, Series I., Vol. 21, Part 1, Page 548, 76.

Burnside had decided to return, after much consideration, to the northern banks of the Rappahanock.  This ended the campaign for the moment, but left the status quo in place. 

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