Fredericksburg, Virginia (JFK+50) The Union army launched an attack on Confederate positions on Marye's Heights near Fredericksburg, Virginia today.
The Federals were led by General Burnside while the Rebels were commanded by General Lee.
At this point, Confederate infantry fire stalled the Irish advance.
Of 12,300 Federal soldiers killed in the battle, two-thirds fell in front of the stone wall.
Of the 1200 Irish Federal soldiers who attacked, 545 were killed, wounded or missing.
"It is well war so so terrible else we should grow too fond of it."
In his visit of June 1963, the President addressed the Irish Parliament & presented the flag of the Irish Brigade.
Here are some of his remarks on that occasion.
I am grateful for your welcome & for that of your countrymen.
They bore a proud heritage and a special courage, given to those who had long fought for the cause of freedom.
I am referring, of course, to the Irish Brigade.
General Robert E. Lee, the great military leader of the Southern Confederate forces, said of this group of men after the battle:
'The gallant stand which this bold brigade made on the heights of Fredericksburg is well known.
Never were men so brave. They ennobled their race by their splendid gallantry on that desperate occasion.
Their brilliant, though hopeless, assaults on our lines excited the hearty applause of our officers a& soldiers.'"