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[565] neglected to see to the execution of an order of which he knew the importance; he neither hurried those who had charge of it, nor notified Burnside of a delay of which he had himself been apprised. General Woodbury committed a serious mistake in not forwarding the two complete equipages by water, and in despatching Spaulding's convoy with a load which could not fail to render the trip impossible at that season of the year. If the wagons and the materiel which were shipped on the Occoquan on the 24th had followed the forty-eight boats that came down the Potomac on the 16th, the whole equipage would have reached Belle Plaine on the 18th; and in default of horses from Washington, the army teams could have conveyed them immediately to the borders of the Rappahannock.

We have said that, on the 14th, Burnside issued all the necessary orders for marching his army from Warrenton to Falmouth. Besides the pontons he expected to find at this place, he had asked for the construction of landing-piers at Aquia Creek, but this work, which the shallow waters in the bay rendered indispensable, could only be undertaken under the protection of the army. On leaving Warrenton he struck the Orange and Alexandria Railroad near Elktown; his troops had to be revictualled on their passage along this railway, and after three days march to find fresh supplies near Aquia Creek. Sumner was the first to start, on the morning of the 15th, and arrived at Falmouth during the 17th.

This village is situated on the left bank of the Rappahannock, at a point where the river, meeting a line of steep hills, whose foot it washes, describes an angle and changes its course from east to south-east. The hills on the right bank, known by the name of Marye's Heights, recede from the Rappahannock a little above the angle, and gradually descend in gentle and open slopes as far as a small plain, about eight hundred metres in width, where stands the town of Fredericksburg, seated on the edge of the water a little below Falmouth, and on the opposite side. A stream called Hazel Run borders the plain to the south. More to the east, the heights are covered with woods, and recede still farther from the river, and, forming a small arc of eight kilometres in length, as far as the margin of another water-course of

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