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[300] 1862, General Lee had present for duty 78,228, and, on December 20th, 75,524 of all arms.1

Upon being asked what causes he assigned for the failure of his attack, General Burnside replied to the Committee on the Conduct of the War: ‘It was found impossible to get the men up to the works. The enemy's fire was too hot for them.’2

After the battle of Fredericksburg the Army of Northern Virginia remained encamped on the south side of the Rappahannock until the latter part of April, 1863. The Federal army occupied the north side of the river opposite Fredericksburg, extending to the Potomac. Two brigades of Anderson's division—those of Mahone and Posey—were stationed near United States Mine or Bank Mill Ford. The cavalry was distributed on both flanks—Fitzhugh Lee's brigade picketing the Rappahannock above the mouth of the Rapidan and W. H. F. Lee's near Port Royal. General Longstreet, with two divisions of his corps, was detached for service south of James River in February, and did not rejoin the army until after the battle of Chancellorsville. Excepting a cavalry engagement near Kelly's Ford, on March 17th, nothing of interest transpired during this period of inactivity. On April 14, 1863, the enemy's cavalry was concentrating on the upper Rappahannock, but his efforts to establish himself on the south side of the river were successfully resisted. About the 21st, small bodies of infantry appeared at Kelly's Ford and the Rappahannock Bridge; at the same time a demonstration was made opposite Port Royal. These movements indicated that the army, now commanded by Major General Hooker, was about to resume active operations. On the 28th, early in the morning, the enemy crossed the river in boats near Fredericksburg, laid a pontoon bridge, and built another about a mile below. A considerable force crossed on these bridges during the day, and was massed under the high banks of the river, which afforded protection from our artillery, while the batteries on the opposite heights completely commanded the wide plain between our lines and the narrow river. As in the first battle at Fredericksburg, our dispositions were made with a view to resisting a direct advance against us. But the indications were that the principal effort would be made in some other quarter. On the 29th it was reported that he had crossed in force near Kelly's Ford, and that a heavy column was moving from Kelly's toward Germania Ford on the Rapidan, and another toward Ely's Ford. The routes they were pursuing, after crossing the **

1 Taylor's Four Years with General Lee.

2 ‘Report of Committee on the Conduct of the War,’ Part I, p. 656.

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