Because he had moved too slowly to attack Gen. Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia, Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan was relieved of his command of the Army of the Potomac by President Abraham Lincoln. McClellan was replaced by Maj. Gen. Ambrose E. Burnside. Determined to act boldly, Burnside reorganized his army and marched it to Fredericksburg, where he planned to strike south around Lee's right flank toward Richmond. Delays in crossing the Rappahannock River enabled Lee to confront Burnside there, then defeat him in a bloody battle on 13 Dec. 1862--a battle neither general had intended to fight.
Geographic Location: Fauquier County
Physical Description of Location: Northwestern corner of intersection of Lee Highway and County Road 605, Warrenton, VA 20187. Marker is on right when traveling south on Lee Highway.
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