War of the Rebellion: Serial 031 Page 0121 Chapter XXXIII. BATTLE OF FREDERICKSBURG, VA.

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All agree that the indications are threatening of an attack of massed troops soon, on our left and front, probably. Enemy digging rifle-pits however. Must have a development soon of enemy's design. Franklin wants to hear from you. It is very important to know of the movements of the Ninth Corps, for Franklin wants to assist by a demonstration, if not attacked before long.

JAS. A. HARDIE,

Brigadier-General of Volunteers.

HEADQUARTERS LEFT GRAND DIVISION,

December 14, 1862-2 p.m.

General BURNSIDE:

Nothing new as yet. What news from the right?

JAS. A. HARDIE,

Brigadier-General of Volunteers.

FREDERICKSBURG, December 14, 1862.

Colonel LEWIS RICHMOND,

Assistant Adjutant-General, Army of the Potomac:

COLONEL: I desire to call the attention of the major-general commanding the Army of the Potomac to the great number of troops and batteries in this city, and to the danger to which they are exposed.

Should the enemy be disposed to shell it, the consequence of this would necessarily cause loss of life and destruction of property. I respectfully suggest that all the troops be transferred to the opposite side of the river, except two divisions, that number being all that will be required to hold the city. The troops will be much more comfortable and much less likely to demoralizing influences in their camps than here. I also recommend that instructions be given the provost-marshal-general to have every house in town searched, and all soldiers found in them sent to their regiments.

I make these suggestions on the presumption that no immediate advance is contemplated from this point.

Everything is quiet here to-night.

My headquarters are at the corner of Hanover and Princess Anne streets.

I am, colonel, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JOSEPH HOOKER,

Major-General.

HEADQUARTERS CENTER GRAND DIVISION,

Fredericksburg, Va., December 14, 1862.

Brigadier-General COUCH,

Commanding Corps:

The major-general commanding Fredericksburg requests that you will relieve two brigades of General Sykes' division to-night and that you will give directions, in case of an alarm, for your troops in the city to stand to their arms.

The general is of the opinion that the advanced line of pickets is unnecessarily large, and he requests that it be considerably reduced.

Please give instructions to the officer in command of your relieving