Fredericksburg, Battle of, December 13, 1862, one of the bloodiest battles of the American Civil War. It was a disaster for the Union army. The battle, fought at Fredericksburg, Virginia, was part of a campaign of the Army of the Potomac against Confederate-held Richmond.
Major General Ambrose E. Burnside was in command of a Union force of 118,000 men. Against them were 78,000 men of the Army of Northern Virginia under General Robert E. Lee. Union soldiers repeatedly charged a high, protected ridge, only to meet deadly infantry and artillery fire. Their casualties totaled about 12,600 dead, wounded, and missing, against approximately 5,300 for the Confederates. Burnside was relieved of his command soon after this battle.