In Jan. 1863, after the Federal defeat at the First Battle of Fredericksburg on 13 Dec., Maj. Gen. Ambrose E. Burnside sought to restore the army's morale by crossing the Rappahannock River at Banks's Ford two miles south and attacking the rear of Gen. Robert E. Lee's army. The march began on 19 Jan.; that night a warm front thawed the frozen roads with 48 hours of pouring rain. Confederates across the river taunted the sodden Federals with large signs: "This Way to Richmond" and "Burnside Stuck in the Mud." Burnside canceled the march on 23 Jan., and two days later President Abraham Lincoln replaced him with Maj. Gen. Joseph Hooker.
Geographic Location: Stafford County
Physical Description of Location: Warrenton Road (US 17), about 200 feet north of intersection with Banks Ford Road, Fredericksburg, VA 22406. Marker is on right when traveling sout on US 17.
Display on Google Maps
Display on Google Earth