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[202] making arrangements to move some artillery to the left to open on the columns massed near Falmouth, but the order brought rendered it necessary to desist from that attempt in order to make preparations for the withdrawal.

My division occupied a line which was in full view from the opposite hills except where it ran through the small strip of woods projecting beyond the railroad, and the withdrawal had to be made with the probability of its being discovered by the enemy. I determined to leave Hays' brigade to occupy the hills in rear of Fredericksburg with one regiment deployed as skirmishers on the River road confronting the force at the mouth of Deep Run, and also to leave one of Barksdale's regiments, which was already in Fredericksburg and along the bank of the river, picketing from Falmouth to the lower end of the town.

The orders were given at once and the withdrawal commenced, but it had to be made with great caution so as to attract as little attention as possible and therefore required much time. General Pendleton was to remain at Fredericksburg, according to the orders, and the withdrawal of such of his artillery as was to be sent to the rear was entrusted to him and executed under his directions. The Whitworth gun was ordered to the rear with the reserve artillery and Andrews' battalion and Graham's battery were ordered to follow my column, Richardson's battery, which was on the right, being returned to General Pendleton's control. When the withdrawal commenced, the enemy sent up a balloon and I felt sure that he had discovered the movement, but it turned out that he did not.1 It was late in the afternoon before my column was in readiness to move, and Barksdale was ordered to bring up the rear with the three regiments left after detaching the one on picket, as soon

1 Professor Lowe's balloon reconnaissances so signally failed on this occasion and in the operations at Chancellorsville, that they were abandoned for the rest of the war.

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river (Kentucky, United States) (1)
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A. S. Pendleton (2)
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Harry T. Hays (1)
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