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[560]

This army, on the 7th of November, numbered one hundred and twenty-seven thousand five hundred and seventy-four ablebodied men. Burnside began by introducing into it a new organization which was to lessen the administrative labors of his headquarters. He divided the army into three grand divisions, each composed of two corps, forming in reality three small armies of twenty-five to forty-five thousand men each. Their headquarters, in all that related to leaves of absence, discharges and numerous other details of the service, were to report directly to the departments at Washington. The left grand division, under General Franklin, consisted of the First and Sixth corps, commanded by Reynolds and Smith; the centre, under Hooker, of the Third and Fifth corps, commanded by Butterfield and Stoneman; and the right, commanded by Sumner, of the Second and Ninth corps, under Couch and Wilcox. The Sixth corps had hitherto been commanded by Porter, but the latter was involved in the disgrace of his chief, and, as we have before said, brought before a court-martial.

On the 7th of November, at the moment McClellan was informed of his dismissal, his cavalry was obtaining a brilliant success over one of Stuart's brigades, which had ventured on the left bank of the Rappahannock; but this success could not long conceal from the Confederates the sudden pause that had taken place in the movements of their adversaries, which was to be followed by a week of inaction.

On the 11th of November, General Halleck visited the headquarters of Burnside in person for the purpose of discussing with the latter his new plan of campaign. The character of the country and the relative position of the two armies left the Union generals the choice of but two spots as the objective point of the campaign—Culpepper, south-west of Warrenton, and Fredericksburg, south-east of it. McClellan's intention had been to march upon the first; Burnside proposed to lead his army against the second.

No obstacle of any importance could have interfered with the execution of the first plan. The Federals had control of both banks of the Rappahannock, which, before its confluence with the Rapidan, is sufficiently narrow to admit of trestle-bridges being rapidly thrown from one bank of the river to the other. Nor

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