So, what happened after Fredericksburg? For one thing, Lincoln in a “nanosecond”, replaced Burnside with “Fighting Joe” Hooker. After all, the Union had lost 12,653 men and the South, 5309. One Union soldier is reported to have said “we might as well have tried to take hell.” So Burnside and his famous sideburns became “histoire” as they say.
It is interesting to note that it was during the battle of Fredericksburg that Lee uttered those immortal words: “It is well that war is so terrible – we should grow too fond of it”. And maybe it is also apropos to quote Peanuts at this juncture. He said “winning isn’t everything, but losing isn’t anything”.
On January 1, 1863 Lincoln issued the final Emancipation Proclamation, freeing all slaves in territories held by Confederates. Thus in the mind of some, the war to “preserve the Union” now became a struggle for the “abolition of slavery”. But lets remember, that there are some people in every age who try to rewrite history.