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[80] division, marching from Hanover Junction, joined it. On the following day Ewell's corps was set in motion for the same point, proceeding by a circuitous route through Spotsylvania Court House and Verdierville, to escape observation, and crossing the Rapidan about twenty miles above its junction with the Rappahannock. The third corps under A. P. Hill, with extended front, was left to face the enemy. These movements were conducted with the utmost secrecy, but their magnitude prevented them from entirely escaping the observation of the enemy.

Hooker's balloons were on the lookout during the day time, and deserters and spies brought him information that changes were in progress, but their object and meaning remained a riddle, and he received little or no assistance from the cavalry towards its solution. On June 4th he telegraphed Mr. Stanton, Secretary of War, that it was reported several of the enemy's camps had moved during the night previous, and on the 5th he sent word to Meade, the enemy appeared to have moved the greater part of its forces from the front.

In a letter to Mr. Lincoln on the same date, after stating what he thought would be the probable direction of the enemy, he added, ‘After giving the subject my best reflection, I am of opinion it is my duty to pitch into his rear, although in doing so, the head of his column may reach Warrenton before I return. Will it be within the spirit of my instructions to do so.’ It would appear from this, that General Hooker's confidence in himself had either been destroyed, or he was in the anomalous position of being in command of a large army without the power of directing its movements. Hooker, however, was not entirely suppressed by the reply from Washington.

On the 6th inst., General Sedgwick, with part of his corps, crossed the river on pontoons, below Fredericksburg, and made a demonstration on Hill's right, occupying the highway which led to Bowling Green in Hill's rear, but the movement did not appear to excite serious apprehension with the Confederates, although Hooker, South of Fredericksburg, was nearer Richmond than Lee at Culpeper, and although Hill was without a supporting musket nearer than Longstreet and Ewell, thirty miles away. On Sedgwick's advice Hooker withdrew his force to the north side of the river.

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