Night On The Battlefield

Emerging Civil War

Fredericksburg National Cemetery Luminary.  (Photo courtesy of Chris Mackowski) Fredericksburg National Cemetery Luminary.
(Photo courtesy of Chris Mackowski)

When the major fighting ended at the First Battle of Fredericksburg, the survivors on the plains of Marye’s Heights huddled in the earthen depressions, using fallen comrades’ bodies for protection and shelter as they tried to live through the night. Charges and battle actions usually get the lion’s share of attention in history books, leaving some readers wondering what it was like when the fighting was over. What was it like for the wounded and unscathed on the Fredericksburg killing field during the night and aftermath of December 13, 1862?

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