From Antietam to Chancellorsville: September 1862 to May 1863

Battle of Fredericksburg

How important was the artillery arm at this point?

Disappointed by the performance of his artillery at Antietam, Lee promoted a new commander of ordnance. Edward Porter Alexander proved to be one of the best subordinate commanders on the Confederate side for the rest of the war. By now, the Confederates were roughly equal to the Union men in terms of guns of all sizes, and Porter made the most out of what he had, consolidating the Confederate artillery.

The Federals had plenty of big guns and could always manufacture more, but there was a difficulty in getting them to the battlefield. Again, the November rains played an important role in slowing the federal advance. Still, by the end of November, most of the Army of the Potomac was on the northeast side of the Rappahannock River, and much of the Army of Northern Virginia was on its way south.

This map shows Fredericksburg as the key mid-point between Richmond and Washington, D.C.


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