December 13, 1862
McClellan failed to pursue Lee’s army vigorously following the Battle of Antietam. It would be his last display of hesitancy. On November 7, 1862, Lincoln replaced him with Ambrose Burnside, who quickly organized his army and marched rapidly to the Rappahannock River opposite Fredericksburg. But by the time he was ready to force crossing, Lee had been able to deploy his army of about 70,000 in strong positions on the heights above Fredericksburg.
Sumner crossed at Fredericksburg and deployed two corps on the edges of the town. Franklin crossed river a mile downstream with two additional corps and assaulted Jackson’s forces, but was thrown back. North of Fredericksburg, the situation was to be even more desperate for the federal soldiers. At midday, Burnside ordered Sumner to attack against Longstreet’s soldiers on Marye’s Heights. The troops had to advance across open ground in the face of withering fire. It was one of the Union army’s worst defeats of the war.
The stage is set, the battle lines are drawn, and you are in command. The rest is history.
Take 4 Command Cards
You move first
Robert E. Lee
Take 6 Command Cards
• A Union unit that occupies a Mary’s Heights hill hex counts as one victory flag. When a Union unit occupies one of those hexes, place a flag token on the Union victory stand. As long as the Union unit remains on the hill hex, it continues to count toward Union victory. If the unit moves off or is eliminated, remove the flag token from the victory stand.
• Jackson’s artillery is “horse artillery.” Place a flag token on the unit to distinguish it from the other units. Horse artillery has a range of 4 hexes and may move 2 hexes and not battle, or it may move 1 hex and battle.
• The Rappahannock River can be crossed only at the bridge. No units may move or retreat onto a river hex tile.