began his campaign with a blunder.
He adopted Richmond
as his objective, instead of Lee
The latter was within a day's march of him, and its wings were separated by two days march.
Here was an opportunity for a skilful commander, but Burnside
decided to make Fredericksburg
a base, and to move thence upon Richmond
On Nov. 15, he turned his back upon Lee
and marched for Fredericksburg
Meanwhile, he had made some important changes in his organization, by the formation of three grand divisions out of his six corps in order to lessen the routine duties of his office.1
Besides the troops shown above, the right grand division comprised two brigades of cavalry and a battery, and each of the others, one brigade of cavalry and a battery.
There was also an artillery reserve of 12 batteries, an engineer brigade with the pontoon train, and an escort and a provost guard of infantry and cavalry.
On Dec. 10, the return of the army showed ‘present for duty,’ as follows: —
|Right Grand Division, Sumner||31,659|
|Centre Grand Division, Hooker||40,396|
|Left Grand Division Franklin||46,897||118,952|
|The Artillery comprised 374 guns.|
Besides these troops there were two corps, the 11th, with 15,562 present for duty, under Sigel
; and the 12th, with 12,162, under Slocum
, which Burnside
called his reserve grand division.
These troops, under command of Sigel
, were on the march to Fredericksburg
, but they did not arrive until after the battle.
Besides these, there were 51,970 holding the line of the Potomac
, and the fortified lines about the city and Alexandria
, with 284 guns of position, and 120 field-pieces.
Thus, all together, there were available for use against Lee
and to protect the capital, 198,546 men and about 900 guns.
On the same day, Dec. 10, Lee
's return showed his present for duty, by divisions, as follows:—