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ailed to escort a batch of prisoners to Richmond, and in hurrying on I overtook troops marching to West-Point, the head of the York River; rumors being rife that Franklin and other Federal generals were disembarking a large force there to assail us on the flank. The main army, however, had travelled with such celerity, that they e was a miserable failure. Franklin's forces at that point far outnumbered ours, for Hood's Texan brigade was the chief corps to oppose him. After disembarking, Franklin lingered and loitered near his transports and gunboats, until Hood beat about to find his whereabouts. Without proper knowledge of the topography of the country, Franklin put his troops in motion, and had not progressed many miles ere he discovered Hood advantageously posted in line of battle, and without giving time to deploy, the Texans were upon him, decimating his ranks with unerring aim. The fight was wild and confused-Franklin hurriedly fell back before an inferior force, and did n
dead and wounded, together with a quantity of stores, and had hastily decamped. Every arrangement was instantly made for pursuit, and ere midnight our cavalry scouts came in and reported that large fires were seen burning in the direction of Franklin, and that in the hurry and confusion of defeat, and a forced march, immense supplies lay along the road, and that quantities were burning in all directions. We buried our own dead — about one hundred in number-and that of the enemy — some threehe movements of the enemy, that, although we travelled the forty miles in less than twenty hours, they had reached Franklin before us, aid were drawn up in a strong position, occupying the right and left of a road that ran between two mountains, Franklin being in their rear. Jackson thought it probable we might be able to flank them, and sent out a force of cavalry to reconnoitre, who reported that not a single road or cow-path was discovered by which we could get round the enemy. They had art
enced. Nothing of moment occurred at our centre; both wings were seriously engaged, Jackson on the left was immovable, and Longstreet on our right was gradually driving the enemy towards the bridge. The carnage here was frightful, and as our shot and shell plunged into their retreating ranks, the whole vicinity of the bridge seemed strewn with bodies, horses, wagons, and artillery. Both attacks of the enemy upon our wings had failed, and they had been repulsed with fearful slaughter. Franklin, Sumner, Hooker, Mansfield, and other corps commanders on their right, had been fought to a stand-still. They were exhausted and powerless. Burnside, on their left, had been fearfully handled by Longstreet, and was driven in confusion upon the bridge, which he held with a few cannon, and suffered every moment from our batteries on rising ground. We did not desire the bridge, or it might have been held from the beginning, and, save a desultory cannonade, the enemy were now inactive and ex
y heard the Federal countersigns exchanged;, but the greatest secrecy marked the conduct of our cavalry at the mouth of the Massaponax, for it was uncertain what Franklin might attempt under cover of the night, as his force was apparently very large, and so stationed as to be able to take up the line of march to our right rear, sh Thus the slaughter at Fredericksburgh closed. Sumner, Hooker, Wilcox, Meagher, French, and a host of other leaders, had been routed on our centre and left — Franklin, Meade, Jackson, Bayard, and Stoneman, had met with a fearful repulse on the right; for miles their dead and wounded lined the front of our works, and were scatr sent such a thrill of horror through all classes at the North, that official inquiry was demanded, when it appeared that General Sumner, of the right wing, General Franklin, of the left, and General Hooker, of the centre, had decided against the movement in a council of war, but that Burnside did not heed their advice, but resol