Civil War & Reconstruction Civil War Second Union Occupation Major General Ambrose Burnside

Major General Ambrose Burnside

Major General Ambrose Burnside commanded the Army of the Potomac after November 5, 1862.  He moved his army efficiently to the Rappahannock River only to discover the pontoon bridges had not arrived.  It soon became clear that a river crossing was to be made under the guns of the enemy and a plan was developed for the first American river crossing under enemy fire.  The plan, devised by junior engineer officers, involved infantry troops attacking in pontoon bridge sections as boats while engineers completed the first bridge. Colonel Norman J. Hall’s brigade of the II Corps was selected to make the assault, which was conducted below the Lacy House (Chatham Manor).

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