This Week in the Civil War - 447

Nov 23, 2012

On Saturday, November 22, 1862, Federal General Edwin Sumner, no doubt conveying Burnside’s decision, informed the city government of Fredericksburg, Virginia that Union forces would not bombard Fredericksburg despite the ultimatum of the prior day “so long as no hostile demonstration is made from the town.”  That is to say, as long as Confederate forces occupying the city and surrounding hills did not fire on Union forces then Fredericksburg would not be harmed. 

Aware that their city was soon to be the center of a major confrontation, city leaders wisely urged the continuing evacuation of the town.  In other news, Union Secretary of War Edwin Stanton discharged nearly all political prisoners held by the Union military, a move which no doubt encouraged enhanced protest by southern “Copperheads” in the American North.