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 corps, which had occupied Culpepper since the 3d, to strike their camp, and started for Fredericksburg with them. But for the rise in the river and the delay of the pontons, which paralyzed the Federals, he could not have arrived in time; he had, however, the satisfaction of finding McLaws in quiet possession of the heights commanding the town; and on the morning of the 22d, Burnside, from the summit of the opposite hills, to which he was fettered, had the mortification of seeing the enemy's army quietly settling in the formidable positions which he was not yet able even to dispute. During Longstreet's march from Culpepper to Fredericksburg, Jackson, who had hitherto remained in the valley of Virginia, ready to throw himself upon the right flank or the rear of the enemy, made a corresponding movement, and crossing the Blue Ridge came to take position at Orange Court-house, so as to cover the Rapidan in case the Federals should return in that direction, and assist Longstreet if they attempted to force the passage of the Lower Rappahannock. Leaving D. H. Hill at Front Royal, he took up his own quarters at Orange Court-house, where he remained until the 26th of November; on that day he was summoned to Fredericksburg by an order from Lee, for it was evident that the Unionists were massing all their forces before that town. He only reached the neighborhood on the 28th or 29th after marching a distance of sixty kilometres. The bridge equipages of the Federals had arrived at Falmouth on the evening of the 25th. If Burnside had been ready to put his army in motion the instant he found himself in possession of the means for crossing the Rappahannock, even though it had taken the whole of the 26th to throw the bridges across, to distribute a few rations and cartridges to his troops, and mass them near the river, he would have been able to attack on the 27th, on the other side of Fredericksburg, the corps of Longstreet, which was entirely isolated, not having yet had time to throw up any works. He would perhaps have failed, but he had far greater chances of success than three weeks later. He could also have sent his bridge equipage direct from Belle Plaine toward the great angle of the Rappahannock known by the name of Skinner's Neck, and tried to effect a passage at this point either on the 27th or 28th, as the enemy was not able at that period to offer any opposition. It
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