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[487] a little stir among ordnance officers, a more than usual activity among those of the medical department; and finally, May 3d, an order was issued to have, in the language of the camp, “three days cooked rations,” thus putting an end to all suspense. The Rapidan flows within a mile of Orange Court-House, runs little south of east, and empties into the Rappahannock eight miles above Fredericksburg. Two roads, the old pike and plank, connect Orange Court-House and Fredericksburg; they diverge at the Court-House, the first runs between the latter and the Rapidan, somewhat parallel, but at times two and a half miles or more apart; come together near Chancellorsville, soon separate again, but unite within six or seven miles at Tabernacle Church, and from that to Fredericksburg there being but one, the plank road. It would not be uninteresting to know the strength and organization of the two armies on the eve of entering upon this, their final, longest, most active, and laborious campaign. The Army of Northern Virginia numbered, of all arms, fifty thousand; forty-two thousand of this aggregate was infantry, divided into three corps of three divisions each — the three corps commanders and seven of the nine division commanders being West Point graduates. The cavalry commander, the chief engineer, chief of artillery, quartermaster and commissary, were all graduates; the medical director had been a surgeon in the United States Army.

The Army of the Potomac was reported by the Secretary of War to be one hundred and forty-one thousand one hundred and sixty-six, composed of three corps, Second, Fifth, and Sixth, to which the Ninth had recently been joined. It is probable that the strength of this army actually present may differ from that given in the Secretary's report — may have been less. Without knowing the strength of the cavalry and artillery, they may be estimated approximatively; and these two arms, together with the overestimate of the War Department, may be stated at twenty thousand, leaving one hundred and twenty-one thousand one hundred and sixty-six for the infantry. The Second and Fifth Corps had each four divisions; the other two, three each. The corps commanders and chiefs-of-staff of this army were graduates of the Academy; most of the division commanders are believed to have been graduates. In addition to superiority of numbers, the Federals were better fed, clothed, armed, and equipped, and had the means of providing for the sick and wounded in a manner the Confederates could not. In all these essentials with them were no deficiencies; their transportation was better, the condition of artillery and cavalry horses was better, as well as the more abundant means of keeping them in that state. General Grant is

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