Chapter 18 The Winter of Northern Discontent
Recap: What’s Happening • McClellan has been removed from command by President Lincoln • Gen. Don Carlos Buell has also been removed from command in the West • President Lincoln is working out the final preparations to pass the Emancipation Proclamation • The Confederacy is fervently trying to secure European aid
The Battle of Fredericksburg In late 1862, Lincoln replaced McClellan with Ambrose E. Burnside (left). Burnside was a reluctant commander and had turned down this position in the past, but Lincoln had no other options at this point.
The battle of Fredericksburg • Burnside quickly moved the Army of the Potomac south, feinting towards the Orange and Alexandria RR while actually moving towards Falmouth. • Burnside planned to move across the Rappahannock River and swiftly march on Richmond, just over 50 miles south of Falmouth. • For once Lincoln believed he had found an able and dynamic general.
The battle of Fredericksburg • Unfortunately, Burnside’s pontoons did not arrive on time. • This gave Lee and the Confederate army time to occupy Fredericksburg and the heights overlooking the town from the Southwest. • Movie time
Aftermath • The Union suffered 12,600 casualties to the Confederacy’s sub-5,000. • The Union army retreated North once again in defeat and Burnside was quickly removed from command.
The War in the West • During the final days of 1862, the Army of the Cumberland under William Rosecrans engaged the Army of Tennessee at Stones River, just outside of Murfreesboro, TN. • On the night of Dec. 30th, the bands of the two armies played popular songs back and forth to each other.
The battle of stones river • Like most battles, the Confederacy struck early in the morning, surprised the Yankees, and appeared to have won the battle easily on the first day. • And like most battles, the Union army rallied before the end of the day and was able to stall the Confederate attacks the next day. • Union casualties: 31% • Confederate casualties: 33% • Highest combined rate of the war
The Vicksburg Campaign • During the debacle of Fredericksburg and the battle of Stones River, General Ulysses S. Grant was having troubles of his own in the Deep South. • The Union army had taken control of most of the Mississippi River, with the exception of one major city; Vicksburg.
The Vicksburg Campaign • Vicksburg sat at the top of a tall bluff overlooking a bend in the Mississippi River. If the Union captured it, they would have complete control over the Mississippi River. • For the first 4 months of 1863, Grant tried many different methods to bypass Vicksburg altogether. None worked. • However, by late March, Grant had a risky plan that might finally succeed.
The Vicksburg Campaign • Grant moved his troops overland south of Vicksburg and sent his gunboats downriver past Vicksburg. • Overall, the plan worked: the boats made it past with minimal casualties and were able to ferry Grant’s army across the river onto the east bank, on the side of Vicksburg. • Grant struck out east, took Jackson, then turned around and headed for Vicksburg.
The Vicksburg Campaign • Once Grant reached Vicksburg, he had his troops surround the city on the land side and moved his gunboats in to cut the city off from the river. • However, for the first time in months, the Rebels turned the Yankees away from Vicksburg in a series of frontal assaults ordered by Grant. • In response, Grant settled down for a siege and waited for the Southerner’s food and supplies to run out.
Back East • After Burnside was removed from command, General Joseph Hooker took his place. • Hooker, a fiery man, took many steps to revive morale in the Army of the Potomac. • Hooker boasted that he had created the finest army on the planet in late spring. And finally, he began to move.
Chancellorsville • Like Burnside, Hooker started off great. He divided his forces, leaving 40,000 in front of Lee at Fredericksburg while taking 70,000 downriver and moving in on Lee’s flank. • However, like Burnside and McClellan before him, when Hookers forces encountered Lee’s near Chancellorsville on May 1st, he chickened out and pulled back. • The following night, Lee found a way to outwit the Army of the Potomac once again.
After Chancellorsville • In the night following the battle, General Stonewall Jackson was mortally wounded by friendly fire and would die soon after. • Grant was stuck in front of Vicksburg and Hooker limped back north toward Washington with his army.
Conclusion • In the east, the Army of the Potomac was broken multiple times by Robert E. Lee and the Army of Northern Virginia, due to incompetent generaling. • In the west, General Grant was causing havoc and threatened to finally take control of the Mississippi and divide the Confederacy in two.