Site of Upper Pontoon Bridge
Early on the morning of December 11th,
Union engineers attempted to construct several pontoon bridges across the Rappahannock River into Fredericksburg. General William Barksdale's Mississippi riflemen forced the workmen away from the river bank. The Federals responded with a massive artillery bombardment. No American city has ever gone through a heavier bombardment in a 24-hour period. Barksdale's men took cover in basements and cellars.