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[373] holding back all that day and husbanding our strength and ammunition for the great struggle for which I thought I was preparing. Had I divined what was to have been his only effort, he would have had more of it. My heart bleeds at the death of every one of our gallant men.

A Federal demonstration was made, opposite Port Royal, on the morning of the 16th, as if an attempt would be made to cross the Rappahannock at that point, far to Lee's right, and there resume the attempt to move on Richmond. This was promptly reported, and Stuart, followed by Jackson, marched to meet it. It was soon learned that this was only a feint, and so the Second corps went into winter quarters, in Caroline county, in the forests just back from the front of the wooded bluffs of the Rappahannock, and Jackson established his headquarters at Moss Neck, near Fredericksburg, while Longstreet's corps occupied the left from the rear of Fredericksburg up the Rappahannock to the vicinity of Banks' ford, above Fredericksburg.

Later in December, Stuart made a cavalry reconnoissance around Burnside's right and rear, to within a few mile of Washington and Fairfax and Occoquan. The larger portion of Longstreet's corps was sent south of the James, with its advance in the vicinity of Suffolk, to winter where subsistence was plentiful. The Federal army went into winter quarters along the line of the railway from Fredericksburg to Aquia creek, with its base of supplies at that Potomac landing, which was easily accessible by ship and steamer. Thus these two great armies, with their camp-fires in sight of each other, disposed themselves in winter quarters in the extensive forests behind the big plantations that bordered both banks of the Rappahannock, and each addressed itself to the work of preparation for another trial of arms during the coming year; the one fairly rioting in the abundance of its supplies of men and material, of all kinds, gathered from nearly the whole world, which was at its command, while the other could only strengthen its great poverty of men and resources by husbanding the scantiest of fare and of military stores, by strengthening its patriotic courage and devotion, and by increasing its trust in Divine Providence by constant religious observances and supplications and prayers from nearly every member of its army, from its humblest private to the noble Christian soldier that led and, by example, encouraged them.

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