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It was a “slaughter pen,” Robert E. Lee remarked about his repulse of the Union attack on the heights above Fredericksburg, Virginia, in December 1862. Indeed, the Union defeat nearly changed history. Robert E. Lee’s successful defense of Fredericksburg crushed Union morale, humiliated federal commander Ambrose Burnside, almost upended plans for Emancipation—and undoubtedly prolonged the bloody Civil War. Experts on this neglected battle re-imagine its power and impact.
John F. Marszalek is a Giles Distinguished Professor Emeritus at Mississippi State University, executive director and managing editor of the Ulysses S. Grant Association, and author of Sherman’s Other War. James M. McPherson, the George Henry Davis 1886 Professor of American History Emeritus at Princeton University, is the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Battle Cry of Freedom. Harold Holzer (moderator) has written and edited more than 40 books on Lincoln and the Civil War era and is a recipient of the National Humanities Medal.
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