Before the civil war, the city of Fredericksburg had been a colonial city, which had developed into a commercial spot. Due to the presence of the port and the development of infrastructure that connected the city to nearby towns and other cities, Fredericksburg grew into a trade hub and was favored by the colonial elite.
During the civil war, the city of Fredericksburg was affected once again because of its strategic location. It was located halfway between the main capitals of the warring parties, and this is attributed to the Battle of Fredericksburg which to date is considered one of the deadliest and most fierce battles during the Civil War period.
Confederate Army of Northern Virginia Vs. The Union Army of the Potomac
Around November 1862, Major General Ambrose Burnside of the Union Army of the Potomac had made plans to cross the Rappahannock River, which was located in Fredericksburg with his troops. He planned to attack his opponents, the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia in their capital of nearby Richmond. However, bureaucratic delays thwarted these plans, and General Robert E. Lee of the Confederate Army moved his troops towards the river to prevent the Union troops from crossing it.
On 11th December 1862, Major General Burnside and his Union Army had already constructed the bridges needed to cross the river and began crossing the river. However, they were confronted by the Confederate Army and by December 13th, 1862, the Union Army had to concede defeat.
So fierce was the Battle of Fredericksburg that the Union Army lost 13,300 of its soldiers while the Confederate Army had only 4,500 casualties. This battle was won by the Confederate Army, and it was not surprising that six weeks after the battle, President Abraham Lincoln replaced Major General Burnside as the commander of the Army of Potomac.
The Aftermath of the Battle of Fredericksburg
The Battle of Fredericksburg had devastating effects on the town. It resulted in the loss of property and caused a lot of damage to the infrastructural facilities that had been put in place to facilitate trade. The roads, buildings, and property worth millions were destroyed during this battle.
To date, there are areas of the battlefield that have been preserved and converted into a museum. The city of Fredericksburg has indeed used the devastating aftermath as a means of making money because it receives more than a million visitors every year.
Though the Battle of Fredericksburg resulted in many casualties and led to massive destruction, the city itself remains popular. It was rebuilt and certain parts preserved for touristic purposes. This has made Fredericksburg to attract a lot of tourists who want to see and experience its rich history.
The historical battlefield serves as a reminder of the American Civil War and is used as a historical point and class. The commercial prosperity of Fredericksburg was not tarnished by the war and to date, Fredericksburg is still commercially popular due to its strategic location between Washington DC and Richmond. It is considered one of the historically and culturally rich cities in the US.