Before my troops reached the little city, and before the people of Fredericksburg knew that any part of the Confederate army was near, there was great excitement over the demand for surrender.
Bad as was being shot by some of our own troops in the battle of the Wilderness, - that was an honest mistake, one of the accidents of war, - being shot at, since the war, by many officers, was worse.
That man will fight us every day and every hour till the end of the war.
I fancy that no good ideas upon that campaign will be mentioned at any time that did not receive their share of consideration by General Lee.
In a very short time the army of Northern Virginia was face to face with the Army of the Potomac.
I cannot help but think that great results would have been obtained had my views been thought better of; yet I am much inclined to accept the present condition as for the best.
If the blame (if there is any) can be shifted from him to me, I shall help him and our cause by taking it. I desire, therefore, that all the responsibility that can be put upon me shall go there and shall remain there.
A little before noon I sent orders to all my batteries to open fire through the streets or at any points where the troops were seen about the city, as a diversion in favor of Jackson.
Why do men fight who were born to be brothers?
There was no indication of panic. The broken files marched back in steady step. The effort was nobly made and failed from the blows that could not be fended.
The town caught fire in several places, shells crashed and burst, and solid shot rained like hail.
My command, less than ten thousand, had found the battle on the Plank road in retreat, little less than a panic. In a few hours we changed defeat to victory, the broken divisions of the Third Corps rallying in their rear.
General Grant had no fixed plan of campaign beyond the general idea to avoid the strong defensive line occupied by General Lee behind Mine Run, and find a way to draw him out to open battle.