War of the Rebellion: Serial 031 Page 0079 Chapter XXXIII. BATTLE OF FREDERICKSBURG,VA.

Search Civil War Official Records

house, to the Plank road. If this work should be accomplished, you will, immediately after connecting with General Hooker on your right, throw your right flank forward to a point on the other side of the Plank road, designated on the map as Guest's, accomplishing which it is presumed the heights in front of the town will be evacuated by the enemy. General Hooker will be ordered to keep your right well supported, and General Sumner will be ordered to follow you immediately over the bridges. The plan spoken of last night is so far modified as to do away with the probability of the throwing of a bridge below your crossing for General Sumner's command, and he will follow you in reserve. I state this because engineers think that a bridge cannot be thrown at that place. An attempt will be made, and it is possible that Taylor's Heights may be taken by Sumner's infantry. You may be sure that everything will be done to accomplish it that can be. Many of the details of this plan were talked over last night, but if there are any other points on which you desire information, he will be glad to give it you. He takes it for granted your topographical engineers have been informed by Mr. Brown of the route to be pursued by your columns. He will be in communication with you during the day, and will endeavor to give you such orders as the emergencies may require.

I need not impress upon you the importance of a most vigorous attack. General Gregg will maintain his line of pickets below, and will hold himself in readiness in rear of your column, at such place as you may designate, to move at short notice in such direction as he may be required. The general commanding is of the opinion that a point between your headquarters and his, in a sheltered position, will be a proper place for him, as General Gregg can be reached by telegraph from headquarters. If such is the disposition, please instruct him to have an orderly in waiting at the telegraph office.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Chief of Staff.

[Sub-inclosure No. 2.]


Major-General HOOKER,

Commanding Center Grand Division:

GENERAL: Your place of crossing will be at a point just above Banks' Ford instead of United States Ford. The commanding general directs you will please have one division of your command ready to accompany an aide-de-camp of General Woodbury, who will report to you at 11 a.m. to-day, and will conduct it to a place of bivouac for the night. This division will assist in getting the pontoons down to the river, under the direction of the engineer officer, and will then be thrown across the river in pontoons, with a view to holding the opposite bank while the bridges are being built. The remainder of your command you will please move in such manner as to have the head of your column at the place of crossing at 7.30 a.m. on the 21st. General Franklin crosses at a point a mile below you. The aide of General Woodbury will designate to you on the map your place of crossing. Definite written instructions will be given you to-morrow as to your movements when across the river.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Chief of Staff.