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 Franklin. If the army of the Potomac had any chance of victory, it was by directing all its efforts on that side against the woods where the Confederate right was posted. Franklin endeavored to convince his chief of this, and asked for instructions, directing him to make a vigorous attack with all his forces on the following morning; he required the whole night to assemble and mass them. Amid the darkness, which was prolonged by the fog, leaving but four or five hours of daylight for the actual fighting, he needed considerable time to put his forty thousand men in motion. Fifty-five thousand might even have been mustered in front of the lower bridges if that portion of Hooker's grand division which was to support Franklin in case of necessity should be added to the command of the latter. The divisions of Birney and Sickles, of Stoneman's corps, were, in fact, encamped on the left bank, fronting Smithfield, ready to pass over the bridge, which Reynolds had crossed on the 12th. But Burnside was unable to come to any decision, and left Franklin, promising to send him his instructions before midnight. The night passed without any being received—a precious time irreparably lost—and it was only toward six o'clock in the morning that the general-in-chief issued orders to his three lieutenants for the decisive day which had already commenced. Franklin received them a little before eight o'clock. It is in the character of these instructions, and not to subsequent explanations, that we must look for the designs of the general-in-chief. Instead of the great movement against the enemy's right recommended by his principal lieutenants, Burnside ordered two partial and simultaneous attacks, each to be made by one or two divisions, upon two points separated by more than six kilometres from each other, in the direction of Hamilton's Crossing and the Telegraph Road. It appears, from the measures he ordered, that the Union general still hoped to take his opponent by surprise, notwithstanding the forty-eight hours of respite he had granted him. He believed, in fact, that one or two divisions would suffice to break the enemy's line on each side, and that, once master of these two points, he could easily carry all the works, erected by Lee with so much skill and care. In informing Franklin of the attack to be made on Marye's Hill on the
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