U. S. CIVIL WAR
(PAGE 7 OF 8)
Outside of Fredericksburg, Stonewall Jackson's Corps held the Confederate right. The
photograph on the right shows the view from Jackson's position, as it appeared
in 1998. The left photograph shows a 30 feet square, 23 feet high, rock pyramid
marking the area where the Union forces temporarily broke Jackson's line on
December 13, 1862. (Note that the pyramid also appears in the right photograph,
appearing as a small triangle on the left side.)
marks the left of the Northern penetration into Confederate lines on Dec.13, 1862. Federal troops
under Gen. George Meade took advantage of an unprotected marshy woodland 500 yards wide, which
jutted beyond the railroad tracks. Although 4500 Federals surged through the defensive line, they
were soon driven out, after sustaining 40 percent casualities. R.F.&P. railroadmen used unhewn
Virginia granite to erect the pyramid in 1903 for the Confederate Memorial Literary Society, which
sought to memorialize the battle in a location visible to train travelers.
MAJOR JOHN PELHAM
Hamilton's Crossing Area (1998).
In the photo of Jackson's front" (right, above), Hamilton's Crossing is located on the far right beyond the trees.
Pelham had taken a single twelve-pounder Napoleon cannon to a crossroads near Hamilton's Crossing, about a half-mile in front of Jackson's position at an angle to the Federal line. From there, he opened fire and repeatedly sent shots into the enemy ranks. Shortly thereafter a Confederate Blakely rifled cannon joined Pelham in the assault wreaking havoc on the Union's left flank . Union General Franklin's 120,000 man assault halted.
Return fire from Federal artillery took out the Blakely but that did not phase Pelham. He kept relocating and firing his Napoleon so fast that five Union batteries began responding to what they thought was a full Confederate battery on the left end of their line.
Stuart ordered Pelham, three times, to withdraw, but he did not comply until he was out of ammunition. He then casually limbered his gun and returned to Hamilton's Crossing. Lee, watching Pelham stop the Union assault single-handedly, said "It is glorious to see courage in one so young".
(Primary Source: "Stonewall Jackson, The Man, The Soldier, The Legend" by James I. Robertson, Jr.)
(For more information on Pelham, see my Pelham page.)
FREDERICKSBURG - PAGE 8
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