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The Civil War: Season 1, Episode 4

Simply Murder (1863) (Sep 25, 1990)

TV EpisodeDocumentary | History | War
By early 1863, Union soldiers with the Army of the Potomac had not been paid for 6 months and supplies were thin. Some 200 men were deserting every day and by January one-quarter of the men were AWOL. Gen. Ambrose Burnside, the new Union commander, wanted to take Fredericksburg but delays in getting the pontoon boats to cross the Rappahannock river allowed Lee to amass 75,000 men. The Union army was blown away and 9,000 men were killed. Elsewhere, the Confederate army was matching this success and a Union flotilla was captured. Lincoln called for more troops and in February, pushed a conscription bill through Congress. Both conscription and the freeing of the slaves were not universally popular and anti-war sentiment was growing. Jefferson Davis had his own problems however. His need to centralize authority did not sit well those who supported States rights. The economy began to collapse with high inflation and resulting protests. By the end of the year, 40% of the Confederate army was absent with or without leave. Lincoln replaced Burnside with General Hooker whose main force met Lee at Chancellorsville. The Union army suffered another massive defeat with the loss of 17,000 men. The Confederate army however lost 13,000 men killed or wounded including Gen. Stonewall Jackson who lost an arm and died of pneumonia. While Grant laid siege to Vicksburg, Lee invaded the north once again. Written By garykmcd  Less

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