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This Day in Georgia Civil War History

December 17, 1862

Eyewitness Account from Fredericksburg

A Georgia soldier provided an eyewitness account of the action at Fredericksburg.

“…Much thanks be to God that I am able to inform you of a great victory won over our common enemy by our brave boys. Their loss is said to be 15,000, ours about 2500. I have witnessed the whole affair…The fighting continued for five days and ended in the complete rout of the enemy, who retreated across the river under the darkness of night and left their dead lying on the field as usual for us to bury, which will be done today. They had been lying on the field since Saturday and many of the wounded had been there all the time and nary side could get them. I could not help feeling sorry for them, though they were our enemies. We lost several of our best men and among them General T.R.R. Cobb of Georgia, who was killed in 500 yards of where he was born and where he was married. What strange things will happen sometimes, but the ways of God are past finding out. … Source: Mills Lane (ed.), “Dear Mother: Don’t grieve about me. If I get killed, I’ll only be dead.”: Letters from Georgia Soldiers in the Civil War (Savannah: Beehive Press, 1990), p. 199.