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[350] wide intervals at many places between regiments. On Marye's Hill, two regiments, the 18th and 21st Miss., with six guns of the Washington Arty. and two under Lt. Brown of Alexander's Bat., were distributed from the Plank road to Hazel Creek, about a half-mile.

Sedgwick had marched at midnight with a good moon, but his progress was slow, for the Confederate pickets annoyed it. By daylight he was in Fredericksburg, and his batteries from both banks of the river and from the edge of the town opened on the Confederates. Sedgwick had been informed by Hooker that the Confederate force left at Fredericksburg was very small, and, without delay, he sent forward four regiments from Wheaton's and Shaler's brigades to charge the works in front of Marye's Hill. It was sending a boy on a man's errand. The Confederate infantry reserved its fire until the enemy were within 40 yards, when they opened and quickly drove them back. A second assault was made, but with similar result. Sedgwick was now convinced that a heavy force confronted him, and he waited for Gibbon's division of the 2d corps. This had just crossed from Falmouth, and it made an effort upon the extreme Confederate left. It proved futile on account of the canal along the front at that part of the field, which was defended by three regiments of Hays's brigade of Early's division, hurried there by Early on seeing the enemy's preparations.

Soon afterward, Wilcox's brigade came to the scene from Banks Ford, where it had been in observation on the 2d. At dawn on the 3d, Wilcox noted that the enemy's pickets on the north side were wearing haversacks, and correctly guessed that the forces opposite were leaving for Chancellorsville. He was preparing to march in the same direction, when a messenger brought word of the advance of Gibbon's division. Thereupon leaving a picket of 50 men and two guns in observation at Banks Ford, Wilcox marched to Taylor's Hill.

About 10 A. M., Gibbon having reported that an attack on our extreme left was impracticable, and Howe's division, making no progress east of Hazel Run, Sedgwick had no recourse but to renew his attack upon Marye's Hill by main force. He accordingly prepared a much stronger assault than that of the morning.

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