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erve. Two divisions of the Third Corps were sent to the lower bridges during the night to support the battle of the left, and were ordered over on the 13th. The plan of battle by the Federal commander, in brief, was to drive the Confederate right back into the highlands and follow that success by attacking the Confederate left by his Right Grand Division. The beginning only of this plan was carried out. The Left Grand Division having duly crossed the river at the lower bridges on the 12th,--the Sixth Corps and Bayard's brigade of cavalry, then the First Corps,--the Sixth deployed two divisions, supported by the third, parallel to the old Richmond road; the First formed at right angles to the Sixth, its right on the left of the Sixth, its left on the river, two divisions on the front line, one in support. The cavalry was sent out to reconnoitre. The entire field of the command was an open plain between the highlands and the river, traversed by the old Richmond road, which had
cooperation some hours in advance of the right. The Federals occupied the 12th in moving the Right Grand Division into the city by the upper bridges, and the Left Grand Division by the bridges below Deep Creek. One hundred and four guns crossed with the right, one hundred and twenty with the left. The Centre Grand Division was held in reserve. Two divisions of the Third Corps were sent to the lower bridges during the night to support the battle of the left, and were ordered over on the 13th. The plan of battle by the Federal commander, in brief, was to drive the Confederate right back into the highlands and follow that success by attacking the Confederate left by his Right Grand Division. The beginning only of this plan was carried out. The Left Grand Division having duly crossed the river at the lower bridges on the 12th,--the Sixth Corps and Bayard's brigade of cavalry, then the First Corps,--the Sixth deployed two divisions, supported by the third, parallel to the old
ghlands. The old stage road from the city runs about half-way between the river and the railroad four miles, when it turns southwest and crosses the railroad at Hamilton's Crossing. The hamlet of Falmouth, on the north side of the river, was in front of the right centre of the Federal position, half a mile from Fredericksburg. General Jackson, advised of General Burnside's move to Fredericksburg, drew his corps east of the Blue Ridge as far as Orange Court-House. Before the end of November it became evident that Fredericksburg was to be our winter station and the scene of a severe battle before it could be relieved. General Lee advised the citizens who still remained in the place (and some who had returned) to remove their effects. Those who had friends found comfortable places of rest, but many took the little that they could get away with, and made their homes in the deep forest till the storm could pass. Still, none complained of the severe ordeal which they were called
November 18th (search for this): chapter 22
n of my corps was posted on the heights in rear of the city, one brigade in the sunken road in front of the Marye mansion, the others extending across the Telegraph road through the wood of Lee's Hill. As the other divisions of the corps came up they were posted, R. H. Anderson on Taylor's Hill; Ransom in reserve, near corps Headquarters; Pickett in the wood, in rear of McLaws's right; Hood at Hamilton's Crossing. The Federal Grand Divisions under Franklin and Hooker marched on the 18th of November, and on the 19th pitched their camps, the former at Stafford Court-House, and the latter at Hartwood, each about ten miles from Falmouth. A mile and a half above Fredericksburg the Rappahannock cuts through a range of hills, which courses on the north side in a southeasterly direction, nearly parallel, and close to its margin. This range (Stafford Heights) was occupied by the enemy for his batteries of position, one hundred and forty-seven siege guns and long-range field batteries. T
December 1st (search for this): chapter 22
ulements or pitting them. The work was progressing while the guns were held under cover remote from the enemy's better appointed artillery until the positions were covered by solid banks or good pits. The small field pieces were removed for safety to convenient points for field service in case opportunity called for them. The Confederates had three hundred and six guns, including two thirty-pound Parrotts of Richmond make. These were covered by epaulements on Lee's Hill. On the 1st of December the batteries of reserve artillery were relieved from the First Corps by those of the Washington and Alexander's artillery. Orders were given to examine all lines of approach, and to measure particularly the distance of the crossings of the canal on the Plank and Telegraph roads; to inspect and improve the parapets and pits along the front, and to traverse all batteries not securely covered against the batteries opposite Taylor's Hill, and others within range of our lines, and McLaws w
December 10th (search for this): chapter 22
ion to cross by the upper and second bridges, the Left Grand Division by the lower bridges, and the Centre Grand Division to be in position near the others to reinforce their battle. The stir and excitement about the enemy's camps on the 10th of December, as well as the reports of scouts, gave notice that important movements were pending. Notice was given the commands, and the batteries were ordered to have their animals in harness an hour before daylight of the next morning, and to continu to stand and receive battle. In concluding this account of the confronting armies on the eve of battle, let us glance at their relative strength as expressed in numbers. The Army of the Potomac, as reported by General Burnside, had on December 10 an aggregate present for duty of 132,017 Rebellion Record, vol. XXI. part i. p. 1121. officers and men (not including cavalry). The Army of Northern Virginia was reported by General Lee on the same date to have had an aggregate of 69,391
R. H. Anderson (search for this): chapter 22
ng of the 11th the deep boom of a cannon aroused both armies, and a second gun was recognized as the signal for battle. In a few minutes the commands were on the march for their positions. Orders were sent to call D. H. Hill's division and all of the Second Corps to their ground along the woodland over Hamilton's Crossing. Barksdale's brigade of Mississippians was on picket duty in Fredericksburg at the time; the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Regiments, with the Eighth Florida, of R. H. Anderson's division, were on the river line; the other regiments of the brigade and the Third Georgia, of R. H. Anderson's, in reserve. The first noise made by the enemy's bridge-builders was understood by the picket guards, as was all of their early work of construction, but a heavy mist along the water concealed them from view until their work upon the bridge was well advanced. As soon as the forms of the workmen could be discerned the skirmishers opened fire, which was speedily answered from
Richard H. Anderson (search for this): chapter 22
e Marye mansion, the others extending across the Telegraph road through the wood of Lee's Hill. As the other divisions of the corps came up they were posted, R. H. Anderson on Taylor's Hill; Ransom in reserve, near corps Headquarters; Pickett in the wood, in rear of McLaws's right; Hood at Hamilton's Crossing. The Federal Graheights on the opposite bank. McLaws had a brigade on picket service, extending its guard up and down the banks of the river, in connection with details from R. H. Anderson's division above and Hood's below, the latter meeting Stuart's cavalry vedettes lower down. At the west end of the ridge where the river cuts through is Tteenth Regiments, with the Eighth Florida, of R. H. Anderson's division, were on the river line; the other regiments of the brigade and the Third Georgia, of R. H. Anderson's, in reserve. The first noise made by the enemy's bridge-builders was understood by the picket guards, as was all of their early work of construction, bu
William Barksdale (search for this): chapter 22
call D. H. Hill's division and all of the Second Corps to their ground along the woodland over Hamilton's Crossing. Barksdale's brigade of Mississippians was on picket duty in Fredericksburg at the time; the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Regiments,n, rushed across and landed on the other bank until a sufficient force was in position to protect the bridge-builders. Barksdale had been notified before noon that the army was in position, and that he could withdraw his troops at any moment, but h position, captured some prisoners, and were soon reinforced. The enemy's fire over the west bank was so sweeping that Barksdale could not reinforce at the point of landing. The Nineteenth Massachusetts was deployed to the right, and the Seventh Mfty yards. The eastern part of the town was occupied, and at a late hour of the night the Confederates retired. As Barksdale's brigade withdrew, he was relieved at the sunken road by the Eighteenth and Twenty-fourth Georgia Regiments and Cobb's
De Witt C. Baxter (search for this): chapter 22
ank. After the several attempts to have the bridge built, he accepted General Hunt's proposition to load the boats and have the men push across. Lieutenant- Colonel Baxter, commanding the regiment, volunteered to lead the party. Captain Weymouth, of the Nineteenth Massachusetts, proposed to support the move. Under signal for artillery fire to cease, the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Baxter pushed across. Under the best fire the pickets could bring to bear only one man was killed and Lieutenant-Colonel Baxter and several men were wounded. The party of seventy were rushed up the bank, gained position, captured some prisoners, and were soon reinforced. Lieutenant-Colonel Baxter and several men were wounded. The party of seventy were rushed up the bank, gained position, captured some prisoners, and were soon reinforced. The enemy's fire over the west bank was so sweeping that Barksdale could not reinforce at the point of landing. The Nineteenth Massachusetts was deployed to the right, and the Seventh Michigan to the left. The Twenty-eighth Massachusetts reinforced them. The Twelfth and Fifty-ninth New York and One Hundred and Twenty-seventh Pen
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