2nd Manassas - Aug. 1862
Battle of 1st Fredericksburg - Friday, December 12, 1862
The Impact on Civilians

Shell damaged house after the Battle of 1st Fredericksburg.
Robert Stiles, an artillery Major serving in the Army of Northern Virginia, witnessed the reaction of Fredericksburg's civilians to the deadly rain of Union iron. In his memoirs "Four Years Under Marse Robert", he would describe a compelled mass exodus of civilians during the bombardment. "The next incident of interest was the bombardment of the old town, but I do not care to enlarge upon this. Really I saw then and see now no justification for it. True the town was occupied by armed men,--Barksdale and his men, our old brigade,--but then the fire did not drive them out; in the nature of things, and especially of the Mississippi brigade, of course it would not, and it did drive out the women and children, many of them. I never saw a more pitiful procession than they made trudging through the deep snow, after the warning was given and as the hour drew near. I saw little children tugging along with their doll babies,--some bigger than they were,--but holding their feet up carefully above the snow, and women so old and feeble that they could carry nothing and could barely hobble themselves. There were women carrying a baby in one arm and its bottle, its clothes, and its covering in the other. Some had a Bible and a tooth brush in one hand, a picked chicken and a bag of flour in the other. Most of them had to cross a creek swollen with winter rains, and deadly cold with winter ice and snow. We took the battery horses down and ferried them over, taking one child in front and two behind and sometimes a woman or a girl on either side with her feet in the stirrups, holding on by our shoulders. Where they were going we could not tell, and I doubt if they could." [3]

Shell damaged house along the banks of the Rappahannock RiverD. Augustus Dickert, wounded four times during the war and once at Fredericksburg, would also mention the bombardments impact on the citizens of Fredericksburg. "The city was almost deserted, General Lee advising the citizens to leave their homes as soon as it became apparent that a battle would be fought here. Still a few, loath to leave their all to the ravages of an army, decided to remain and trust to fate. But soon after the firing along the river began, we saw groups of women and children and a few old men in the glim twilight of the morning rushing along the roads out from the city as fast as their feeble limbs and tender feet could carry them, hunting a safe retreat in the backwoods until the cloud of war broke or passed over. Some were, carrying babes in their arms, others dragging little children along by the hands, with a few articles of bedding or wearing apparel under their arms or thrown over their shoulders. The old men tottered along in the rear, giving words of comfort and cheer to the excited and frightened women and little ones. It was a sickening sight to see these helpless and inoffensive people hurrying away from the dangers of battle in the chilly morning of December, seeking some safe haunt in the backwoods, yet they bore it all without murmur or complaint." [58]

The Shell damaged Lawrence house on Caroline Street in Fredericksburg.