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[580] soldiers. In fact, after having carefully fortified a position which was naturally almost impregnable, he beheld his adversary rushing headlong into the circle of fire which had long since been prepared to receive him. There was nothing more to be done but to mass the whole army upon the ground where Burnside was so imprudently going to seek him. The latter even allowed his opponent time to effect this concentration. Jackson was sent for in great haste; but Ewell and D. H. Hill, who occupied positions on the Lower Rappahannock, could not arrive before the 13th, and Taliaferro, who was encamped at Guiney's Station, not before the evening of the 12th. If, therefore, the battle had been fought on that day, Lee would have been deprived of the assistance of two or three of his divisions.

To have brought about this result, it would have been sufficient for Burnside, as soon as apprised of the completion of the bridges on the left, to have ordered Franklin to put his soldiers over these bridges; a large portion of this general's troops would thus have found themselves on the other side of the river on the morning of the 12th, and while they began the fight, the remainder of the army could have crossed the river and gone to their support. Nothing of the kind took place. Held back by Burnside's instructions, Franklin only began crossing on the morning of the 12th, Reynolds' corps taking the lower and Smith's the upper bridge.

The night of the 11th or 12th was extremely cold, and the soldiers, deprived of fire, suffered greatly. In the morning, as on the previous day, they found themselves enveloped in a mist which favored preliminary operations. But these operations should have ended by noon, when the fog usually disappeared; instead of this, the whole day was again wasted in mere preparations; and when the sun made his appearance, Lee was enabled to examine at leisure the whole of the enemy's army deployed before him, saying to himself that the next morning his own troops would also be all assembled on the field of battle.

Burnside does not appear to have attached any importance to this delay, nor to have made any effort to accelerate the crossing in order to engage the battle on the 12th. Toward five o'clock in the evening he proceeded to inspect the positions occupied by

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