BLOG, or DIE. Author Bio
Wednesday, 12 December 2012
150 years ago this week (part 4) Media Coverage:

Sketch by Arthur Lumley for New York Illustrated

It remains for me to give some account of the town of Fredericksburg, and the condition in which it was left by its ruthless invaders. Desolate it had appeared to me at the end of last month; how shall I describe its appearance now? The first impression of those who rode into its streets, and who had witnessed the deu d’enfer which the Federal guns had poured upon it for hours upon Thursday, the 11th of December, was surprise that more damage had not been done. But this is explained by the fact that the Federals confined themselves almost entirely to solid round shot, and that very few shells were discharged into the town. Nevertheless a more pitiable devastation and destruction of property would be difficult to conceive. Whole blocks of buildings have in many places been given to the flames. There is hardly a house through which at least one round-shot has not bored its way, and many are riddled through and through. The Baptist church is rent by a dozen great holes, while its neighbour, The Episcopalian Church, has escaped with one. Scarcely a spot can be found on the face of the houses which look toward the river which is not pockmarked by bullets. Everywhere the houses have been plundered from cellar to garret; all smaller articles of furniture carried off, all larger ones wantonly smashed. Not a drawer or chest but was forced open and ransacked. The streets were sprinkled with the remains of costly furniture dragged out of the houses in the direction of the pontoons stretched across the river. Many of the inhabitants clung to the town, and sheltered themselves during the shelling in cellars and basements. Among others, it is stated that Mrs. Slaughter, the wife of the Mayor, returned two or three days after the bombardment to her house, which she found ransacked and gutted. A Federal officer offered a few words of explanation or apology, when she replied, pointing to half a dozen dead Federals lying within site of her house, “I am repaid for all I have suffered by the sight of these.” - London Times

The Baptist Church has been nearly riddled by shells, while all the pews have been torn out to make room for the sick, who were spread upon the pew cushions. The same condition of things was visible in the basement of the Episcopal Church. The Orphan Asylum, Dr. Scott’s, F. Slaughter’s, and S.S. Howison’s houses were used as hospitals. In all, some twenty houses have been destroyed, and the loss of property of one kind or another cannot fall much short of $250,000. - Richmond Enquirer

On Wednesday 17th I rode through the town and it was distressing to view the desolation. There is scarcely a house in the town that has not some mark of the siege, chimneys knocked off, roofs torn up, and walls scarred with holes of various sizes, some as large as a man’s head and others as large as a barrel. The streets are covered with broken glass, window shutters and furniture of various descriptions. The large tall houses suffered more than the low buildings. A large Baptist Church has fifteen large holes through its walls, four through the steeple, and the roof torn up in many places. I think there are twenty-five or thirty houses burned. A few citizens remained in town secreted in cellars during the whole siege. - Central Georgian

Posted by ny5/pinstripepress at 8:51 AM EST
Updated: Wednesday, 12 December 2012 8:52 AM EST
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