Civil War & Reconstruction Civil War First Union Occupation May 1862

May 1862

On May 2, 1862, a command-reconnaissance party under Brigadier General Rufus King, crossed the new canal-boat bridge and reconnoitered Fredericksburg. An infantry company swept the town, occupied a tobacco warehouse, and posted pickets after discovering no Confederate threat. Five days later, the entire 23rd New York Infantry moved into the town and established headquarters opposite the railroad depot. Sergeant Major Archibald N. DeVoe and Color-Corporal Eben E. Crocker symbolically planted the regiment’s “Stars and Stripes” above the town, and officially inaugurated the Union’s destructive interaction with Fredericksburg. In those relatively genteel times, the 23rd New York was selected for its “high character, for respectability and rigid discipline” – meaning a low probability of pillaging or rampaging.

Waiting to cross the ‘bridge’ into Fredericksburg.