away, however, quite satisfied there had been no intention to do me any injustice, and that had Burnside known of the true state of the case, he would originally have assigned me to the corps. I do not want it if it is to be for only a few days, to give place to some other senior, and don't mind not being assigned, now that I am satisfied nothing personal was meant. Burnside told me the enemy were evidently concentrating their forces near Fredericksburg, and he thought we should have to fight before we could advance from there. I cannot believe they will risk a great battle, under circumstances so favorable for us, as, if they are defeated, at such a distance from Richmond, they cannot prevent our following them right up to that city. On the other hand, if we are defeated, we have only fifteen miles to get back to our gunboats and supplies. We are now waiting to repair the road from Acquia Creek to Fredericksburg, accumulate supplies and get up our pontoon bridges, when we will cross the river. I have no doubt they will dispute the passage of the river and endeavor to check us as much as possible; but whether they will risk a general battle at or near Fredericksburg remains to be seen.
camp near Acquia Creek, November 25, 1862.I have received your letters of the 20th and 22d inst., giving an account of George's1 departure for his regiment. We have had one or two very fine days; the railroad is repaired some seven miles of the fifteen. A wharf at the landing has been constructed, and trains are carrying supplies as far as the road is open. In the meantime, the enemy are said to be concentrating at Fredericksburg, and the impression gains ground that our passage of the river will be disputed, and that they will give us battle here. Our course is plain— to go ahead—and as we shall have to fight them somewhere, the less distance we have to go the better for us. I am still, however, of the opinion that they will only try to check us at the river, and will not risk a general battle.
camp near Brooks Station, Va., November 30, 1862.I received this evening your letter of the 28th, enclosing one from George.2 George's letter is written not only in good spirits, but in the right spirit, and gratified me very much. I trust he will always look upon men and things in the same sensible light, in which case he will avoid much of the trouble that young men are so apt to encounter,