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Franklin's left Grand division. by William Farrar Smith, Brevet Major-General, U. S. A. When General Burnside assumed the command of the Army of the Potomac on the 9th of November, 1862, he gave up the immense strategic advantage which McClellan had gained, and led the army to Falmouth on the Rappahannock River, opposite the city of Fredericksburg. A few days after his arrival on the Rappahannock he called a council of war. It was a conference rather than a council, for he stated that he called the generals together to make known something of his plans, and not to put any question before them for decision. The grand division commanders, Sumner, Franklin, and Hooker, were present, and also, I think, the corps commanders. I was present as commander of the Sixth Army Corps. The entire army was massed within a few miles of Falmouth, and the first object was to cross the river in our front, and gain a fair field for a battle. From the same ground Hooker afterward marched north-