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[383] Longstreet, having just arrived, made hurried dispositions for battle on the hills overlooking the town from the west. On the 21st the Mayor of Fredericksburg was summoned by General Sumner to surrender the town by 5 P. M., or prepare to receive a bombardment at 9 A. M. on the next day. By direction of General Lee, who had now also arrived, a reply was returned that the occupation of the city by Federal forces would be resisted, but that the Confederates would refrain from using it for military purposes, although this promise was no concession, for the town had not been and could not be of any military use, further than to shelter a picket force, which, of course, it was not pretended would be removed, the Federal commander withdrew his threat and the town was never fired upon until the 11th of December, when the desperate resistance of Barksdale's Mississippians from the cover of the houses induced and justified a bombardment.

In view, however, of the imminence of a battle, General Lee advised the inhabitants of Fredericksburg to vacate the city, that their presence might not trammel his defence, and although the weather was most inclement, the thermometer being near zero, almost the whole population removed and found the best shelters they could, cheerfully giving their homes to be a battle-field. The neighboring country, houses and churches were filled, sometimes with dozens of families, to whom rations were issued by the Commissaries, and many women and children encamped in the forest in brush and blanket shelters, where the sight of their cheerfully borne sufferings nerved many a heart for the coming struggle.

On the 22nd of November, the whole of the First Corps was concentrated and in position as follows:

Anderson held the crest of hills from Banks's Ford to Hazel Run, with his brigades in the following order, from left to right, viz: Wilcox, Wright, Mahone, Perry and Featherston. McLaws stood upon his right with Cobb, Kershaw, Barksdale and Semmes. Pickett formed on McLaws's right with Jenkins, Corse, Kemper, Armistead and Garnett. Hood held the extreme right, and extended his line to Hamilton's crossing, over five miles distant from the left flank; his brigades being Laws's, F. T. Anderson's, Benning's, and the Texas brigade under Robertson. Ransom, with his own and Cooke's brigades, formed the reserve. The Engineer and Artillery officers were ordered to assign positions to the artillery, and to build pits for them, but their positions were ordered to be located, more with a view to reply to the enemy's batteries which were being built on the north bank of the river, than to be used in repelling assaults upon their own positions. The work of

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