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[113] deemed to be of too tender years to endure the hardships of military life; but he had a man's courage and fortitude. He fell, nobly doing his duty, on the morning of the 3d of May.

The Sixth Corps, on its return, held relatively the same position on the left of the army that it occupied previous to the 28th of April.


May sped, without developing upon the surface of our existence anything of national importance. On the 4th of June, there were rumors of a flank movement below Fredericksburg. Whatever might have been the design of the commander-in-chief, certainly on the following day the Sixth Corps infantry and artillery, with pontoon train, was in the Rappahannock Valley below the mouth of Deep Run. The Confederates, having a picket line along the bank, were in force in the rifle-pits which our First Division had made at a former time; and they opened a lively fire when the engineers prepared to launch the pontoons. Now all of our artillery, Williston's, McCartney's, McCarthy's, Cowan's, and Harn's, opened upon the works from the plain upon the north side, firing by battery; the assault was terrific, the plain beyond the river being completely obscured by the smoke of bursting shells, and the clouds of dust; the men in the pits were unable to readily lift their heads to sight the Federal engineers and infantry. Two regiments were thrown across in boats; the artillery cease firing as the infantry reach the opposite bank; the latter charge the pits and drive the occupants over the plain,—pursue them and capture prisoners. The bridge being laid, each of our divisions in turn crossed, one relieving another, so that during the five succeeding days, each command spent a day or more on the south side. There was an occasional exchange of papers between the Sixth Corps pickets and those of the enemy, but no further exchange of hostilities.

The first symptom of Lee's great northward movement, so ably did he manoeuvre, was not perceived by the Federals until the 9th of June; when Pleasanton's cavalry struck the enemy's columns at Brandy Station, on the line of the Alexandria and Orange Railroad, east of Culpepper, C. H., this revealed in a degree the purpose of the Confederate general, but too late for preventive opposition; he had in effect, as De Peyster has said, gained

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