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Edward Porter Alexander, Military memoirs of a Confederate: a critical narrative, chapter 7 (search)
es of convex front. Its left flank rested on the open Chickahominy bottom, where heavy batteries from the south side secured it from being turned. Its right flank was its weak point, its protection there being only tangled thickets which also covered much of the front. Where this was lacking were generally three lines of infantry, partially under cover, and abundant artillery so placed that its fire was over the heads of the infantry. His force was enough to cover his front six deep. Two bridges gave connection to the south side, and over them, during the action, McClellan sent Slocum's division (9000) of Franklin's corps with two batteries, and French's and Meagher's brigades of Sumner's corps, as reenforcements, — say about 14,000 men. Porter himself was, perhaps, the hardest opponent to fight in the Federal army. No one in it knew better how to occupy and prepare his ground for defence, or was more diligent to do it; and in his corps were concentrated all of the regular regim
Edward Porter Alexander, Military memoirs of a Confederate: a critical narrative, Chapter 14: fall of 1862 (search)
r's Neck, discovered Jackson's camps, and Burnside knew that his designs were disclosed. The discovery suggested an alternate piece of strategy. If he could cross at Fredericksburg, and rapidly push a force around Lee's right at Hamilton's Crossing, he might interpose between the forces about Skinker's Neck and those in front of Fredericksburg. The pressure upon him to fight was great, and on Dec. 10 the orders were issued for a crossing that night. The programme was as follows: — Two bridges were to be thrown across the river at the upper end of the town, one bridge at the lower end, and two about a mile below the town. Where the bridges were in pairs, one was for the use of artillery and one for infantry. The pontoon trains were to arrive opposite the chosen sites at 3 A. M., and unload the boats and material. By daylight this was to be finished and the boats placed in the river. The bridges were then to be built in from two to three hours. In length they would be from 4