This Week in the Civil War - 468

Dec 24, 2012

On Monday, December 22, 1862 President Lincoln conferred in Washington, D. C. with General Ambrose Burnside as recriminations continued over the Union debacle at Fredericksburg.  A number of Union officers privately called for Burnside’s removal, and the beleaguered general surprised the president by announcing that he would draft a letter taking full blame for the Fredericksburg defeat. 

Lincoln issued an order congratulating the Union army for its bravery at Fredericksburg and referred to the defeat as “an accident.”  In a letter to a friend, the president privately expressed his respect for the general, confiding that Burnside was the first Union officer who was willing in defeat to relieve him of even a particle of responsibility.