The Federal objective in the Battle of Fredericksburg was to capture this wooded ridge at the southern end of the Confederate line. Burnside thought that would compel the Confederate forces to withdraw from their strong position. The Union got lucky when "Stonewall" Jackson left a 600-yard gap in the line. General George Meade's division crashed through the opening at this spot.
These woods and swamp were held by troops of Maxcy Gregg’s South Carolina Brigade on the afternoon of December 13th. Near 1 P.M. Union troops struck this area driving back the South Carolinians and mortally wounding Gregg. Eventually the Union soldiers were forced back and the breach sealed.
General Gregg was unaware of the gap in front of his lines. As Meade's soldiers surged up the hill, Gregg rode along his line ordering his troops to hold their fire, afraid that they faced retreating Confederates. As an obvious target in a general's uniform on horseback, Gregg suffered when a Union bullet penetrated his side and lodged near the spine. "Stonewall" Jackson and A.P. Hill visited him as he lay dying in the Yerby House. He died just before sunrise on December 15.
Prospect Hill is tour stop #6 on the driving tour of the battlefield