decide that the enemy would not come out of his strongholds and fight us with his infantry. After which we recrossed to this side of the river unmolested, and without the loss of men or property.
As the day broke, our long lines of troops were seen marching to their different positions as if going on parade; not the least demoralization or disorganization existed.
To the brave officers and soldiers who accomplished the feat of this recrossing in the face of the enemy I owe everything. For the failure in the attack I am responsible, as the extreme gallantry, courage, and endurance shown by them was never excelled, and would have carried the points, had it been possible.
To the families and friends of the dead I can only offer my heartfelt sympathy, but for the wounded I can offer my earnest prayers for their comfort and final recovery.
The fact that I decided to move from Warrenton onto this line rather against the opinion of the President, Secretary, and yourself, and that you have left the whole management in my hands, without giving me orders, makes me the more responsible.
I will visit you very soon and give you more definite information, and finally will send you my detailed report, in which a special acknowledgment will be made of the services of the different grand divisions, corps, and my general and personal staff departments of the Army of the Potomac, to whom I am much indebted for their hearty support and co-operation.
I will add here that the movement was made earlier than you expected, and after the President, Secretary, and yourself requested me not to be in haste, for the reason that we were supplied much sooner by the different staff departments than was anticipated when I last saw you.
Our killed amounted to 1,152; our wounded, about 9,000; our prisoners, about 700, which have been paroled and exchanged for about the same number taken by us.* The wounded were all removed to this side of the river before the evacuation, and are being well cared for, and the dead were all buried under a flag of truce. The surgeon reports a much larger proportion than usual of slight wounds, 1,630 only being treated in hospitals.
I am glad to represent the army at the present time in good condition.
Thanking the Government for that entire support and confidence which I have always received from them, I remain, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
A. E. BURNSIDE,
Major-General, Commanding Army of the Potomac.
Major General H. W. HALLECK,
General-in-Chief, Washington, D. C.
Message from President Lincoln to the Army of the Potomac.
EXECUTIVE MANSION, Washington, December 22, 1862.
To the Army of the Potomac:
I have just read your commanding general's report of the battle of Fredericksburg. Although you were not successful, the attempt was
*But see revised statement, pp.129-142.