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[102] it seemed to me that invasion by the second route would be the most difficult to meet; for, as the march in Maryland would be covered by the Potomac, the Federal general might hope to conceal it from us until the passage of the river was begun, and so place himself at least two days march nearer to Richmond than the Army of Northern Virginia, on Bull Run. I did not doubt, therefore, that this route would be taken by General McClellan. The opinion was first suggested by the location of a division of the United States army1 on it, opposite to Dumfries.

On the 5th, information from Brigadier-General Whiting, of unusual activity in the division opposite to him — that referred to above-suggested that the Federal army was about to take the field; so I determined to move to the position already prepared for such an emergency — the south bank of the Rappahannock-strengthened by field-works, and provided with a depot of food; for in it we should be better able to resist the Federal army advancing by Manassas, and near enough to Fredericksburg to meet the enemy there, should he take that route; as well as to unite with any Confederate forces that might be sent to oppose him should he move by the Lower Rappahannock or Fort Monroe.

Brigadier-Generals Whiting and D. II. Hill were ordered to march on the morning of the 7th: the first from the Lower Occoquan and neighborhood of Dumfries, with his own, Wigfall's, and Hampton's brigades, to Fredericksburg, where Major-General Holmes was directed to concentrate his troops; and the second from Leesburg by Thoroughfare and

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Brigadier-Generals Whiting (2)
L. T. Wigfall (1)
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