From Antietam to Chancellorsville: September 1862 to May 1863

Battle of Fredericksburg

How did Lee prepare his army for the coming battle?

Lee had not been thrilled when McClellan was removed from command; he feared that at some point, the Federals would find a commander whose aims he could not detect. This was not the case with Burnside, however, whose plans were readily detectable. Lee, therefore, had almost two weeks to bring up his entire force and deploy it in the most strategically defensible position.

No army is free from friction, however, and there was some discontent on the part of Stonewall Jackson, who believed that Lee had shown excessive favoritism to James Longstreet. The better clothing, materials, and food all seemed to go to Longstreet’s wing of the army, and Jackson was in an unpleasant mood as the battle neared. One of his aides heard Jackson mutter something about resigning his commission, but nothing more came of it.


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