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[284]

Burnside began his campaign with a blunder. He adopted Richmond as his objective, instead of Lee's army. 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, Sumner31,659
Centre Grand Division, Hooker40,396
Left Grand Division Franklin46,897118,952
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 above Washington, 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:—

1 This organization was not kept up by Burnside's immediate successors, but under Grant in 1864 something equivalent was developed in separate armies and in large corps.

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