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[354] very strong, as we had learned to our cost; but it might be turned, as Hooker proceeded to show.

His army was still encamped at Falmouth, opposite Fredericksburg. The 11th (Howard's) and 12th (Slocum's) corps moved up the river, but carefully avoiding observation from the hostile bank, so far as Kelly's ford; crossing there the Rappahannock that night and next morning — the men wading up to their armpits — and the Rapidan at Germania Mills, next day, moving thence rapidly on Chancellorsville. The 5th (Meade's) corps followed; crossing the Rapidan at Ely's ford, lower down. Meantime, the 2d (Couch's) corps approached, so nearly as it might unobserved, to both the United States and Banks's fords, ready to cross when these should be flanked by the advance of the 11th, 12th, and 5th behind these fords to Chancellorsville. Resistance had been expected here; but none was encountered, as none worth mentioning had been above; and Couch crossed his corps1 at the United States ford on pontoons, without the loss of a man. Gen. Hooker, at Morrisville, superintended the movement; following himself to Chancellorsville,where he established his headquarters that night.

This important movement had been skillfully masked by a feint of crossing below Fredericksburg; the 6th (Sedgwick's) corps laying pontoons and actually crossing at Franklin's, two or three miles below; the 1st (Reynolds's) at Pollock's Mill, still lower; the 3d (Sickles's) supporting either or both. Sedgwick was in chief command on this wing. The bridges were ready by daylight of the 29th; and, before daylight, Brooks's division had crossed in boats and driven off the Rebel pickets; while Gen. Wadsworth in like manner led the advance of Reynolds's division; when three pontoon bridges were laid in front of Sedgwick, and every thing made ready for crossing in force. Now Sickles's (3d) corps was ordered to move2 silently, rapidly to the United States ford, and thence to Chancellorsville, while part of the pontoons were taken up and sent to Banks's ford; Reynolds, after making as great a display as possible, and exchanging some long shots with the Rebels in his front, following, May 2d; raising Hooker's force at and near Chancellorsville to 70,000 men.

Sedgwick, on the other side of the Rebel army, had his own corps, 22,000 strong; while Gen. Gibbon's division of the 2d corps, 6,000 strong, which had been left in its camp at Falmouth to guard our stores and guns from a Rebel raid, was subject to his order; raising his force to nearly 30,000.

Thus far, Gen. Hooker's success had been signal and deserved. His movements had been so skillfully masked that Lee was completely deceived; and the passage of the Rappahannock had been effected, both above and below him, and all its fords seized, without any loss whatever. Never did a General feel more sanguine of achieving not merely a great but a crushing victory. “I have Lee's army in one hand and Richmond in the other,” was his exulting remark to those around him as he rode up to the single but capacious brick house — at once mansion and tavern — that then, with its appendages, constituted Chancellorsville. But

1 April 30.

2 April 30.

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