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Chapter 7:

  • The campaign of the 13th of December, 1862
  • -- “Franklin's crossing” -- movements of the left grand division -- topography of the region which was occupied by the Federal left and Confederate right -- the engagement of the First and Sixth Corps on the 13th of December -- the “quiet Sunday” -- night retreat -- roster of the Sixth Corps

On the 10th of December, there was a general movement of the left grand division toward the Rappahannock. On the 11th, Thursday, the rear of the Sixth Corps moved across the road that runs from Falmouth to the Potomac, via White Oak church, passing the church, which is perhaps three miles from the town, and as far from the brow of the height which overlooks the valley of the Rappahannock a couple of miles below Fredericksburg, on the opposite side of the river. From White Oak church southerly to the brow of the highland of this section, the country was more or less wooded, the surface broken by knolls, ridges and ravines among them,—all of which contributed to conceal the movements of troops from the enemy upon the opposite shore of the river.

Over this ground, gradually coiling itself up, so as to occupy a comparatively small area, the left grand division had been moving for a day and a half. Engineers with the pontoon trains and with supporting infantry, had been pushed forward over the height to the plain which extends along the high banks of the river, and by noon a bridge had been thrown across, and a roadway had been cut through the steep bank from the plain on the left side, and another through the steep bank to the great plain on the right shore.

Thursday night and the following forenoon were consumed in the passage of the river. The Sixth Corps, which was the right and centre of Franklin's force, crossing on the 12th, moved nearly south from ‘Franklin's Crossing,’ over the plain which extends for miles east of Fredericksburg. There was little firing on Friday. The battle of the 13th of December was, in effect, two distinct, terrible combats: the conflict of the Federal left wing

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Fredericksburg, Va. (Virginia, United States) (2)
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