Blog Posts


Fredericksburg December 11 – 15, 1862

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Orrin L. Gatchell, a private in the 72nd New York Infantry Regiment of the Excelsior Brigade, and his half-brother Calvin Getchell, a private in the 16th Maine Infantry Regiment, fought at the Battle of Fredericksburg (December 11 – 15, 1862). However, their lives up to this time, their experiences as volunteers in the Union Army, and their fates in this battle were very different.

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Following the Battle of Fredericksburg, Orrin L. Gatchell, a private in the 72nd New York Volunteer Infantry of the Excelsior Brigade, in the Union Army during the Civil War, wrote to his brother-in-law in Anson, Maine about the devastating effects of the loss at Fredericksburg on the morale of the Union soldiers and his own loss of confidence in the military leadership as well as the administration in Washington, DC that was appointing the succession of Union generals.  

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The Battle of Fredericksburg (December 11 – 15, 1862) in the Civil War pitted the stubborn determination of the Union General Ambrose Burnside against the well-entrenched Confederate army commanded by General Robert E. Lee, resulting in the tragic and senseless loss of 1,180 Union soldiers.  One of the Union soldiers slain in this battle was Calvin Getchell, a private in the 16th Maine Volunteer Infantry Regiment and brother of Orrin L. Gatchell, a private in the 72nd New York Volunteer Infantry of the Excelsior Brigade from Dunkirk, New York. 

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