1863 January 3: Fredericksburg Battle Casualties
The first paragraph sets up tomorrow’s post—the “detailed account” of the Battle of Fredericksburg. This article lists the official casualty counts. It is from the January 3, 1863, issue of The Polk County Press.
As will be seen we have given a detailed account of the battle of Fredericksburgh [sic], from a correspondent of the New York Tribune, which informs our readers of the occurrence during that day. As we wish to keep up the chain of events for our readers not having issued our regular paper last week, we will in brief state the movements which followed after the close of that bloody battle, and give the losses as stated in subsequent reports of the division commanders.
Gen. BURNSIDE [Ambrose E. Burnside] finding that it was impossible to take the rebel position by storm quietly on the night after the battle, withdrew his whole army to the north side of the Rappahannock, and resumed his former position—headquarters at Falmouth. He brought off his army in good order, leaving nothing behind of value to the enemy. All the wounded were brought from the field, and the dead which could be gathered buried.—The bridges were withdrawn and once more the river separated the hostile armies. The next morning Gen. Burnside sent a flag of truce to the rebels, asking permission to bury the dead which were in their hands, which request was granted, one parties were detailed for that duty. The enemy posted their pickets as before the engagement, and up to the present. writing no additional fighting has occurred. General Sigel [Franz Sigel] reinforced Burnside the day following the repulse. At the latest advices all our wounded were being conveyed to Washington and other points for care and hospital treatment.
Our loss as officially reported as follows.:
Right Grand Division, Gen. Sumner [Edwin V. Sumner], comprising the Second and Ninth Corps, under command of Generals Couch [Darius N. Couch] and Wilcox [Orlando B. Willcox].—killed 473, wounded 4,000, missing 715, total in Sumner’s division, 5311.
Center Grand Division General Hooker [Joseph Hooker], comprising the Third and Fifth Corps, under command of Generals Stoneman [George Stoneman Jr.], and Butterfield [Abner Butterfield],—killed 326, wounded 2103, missing 751, total in Hooker’s division 3548.
Left Grand Division, Gen. Franklin [William B. Franklin], comprising the First and Sixth Corps, under command of Generals Reynolds and Smith [William F. Smith],—killed 339,wounded 2547, missing 576, total in Franklin’s division 3452, grand total 12,311.
Our loss is heavy. The results of the battle is a defeat. Our forces fought against great odds and under difficulties which perhaps had much to do with making it a failure. Removal of Gen. McClellan [George B. McClellan] is now bringing its results. The loss of the rebels is stated by them to be between three and four thousand.