War of the Rebellion: Serial 031 Page 0784 OPERATIONS IN N. VA., W. VA., MD., AND PA.

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November 21, 1862.

General PARKE, Chief of Staff:

SIR: I forward the reply to the summons sent to Fredericksburg to-day.

I have ordered two batteries to be placed in position, selected this afternoon, at daylight to-morrow morning.

Will the commanding general think proper to give them more time? Shall I order our guns not to fire upon the departing trains?

Very respectfully,


Brevet Major-General, U. S. Army.



Fredericksburg, November 21, 1862.

Bvt. Major General E. V. SUMNER,

Commanding U. S. Army:

SIR: I have received at 4.40 o'clock this afternoon, your communication of this date. In it you state that, under cover of the houses of this town, shots have been fired upon the troops of your command; that our mills and manufactories are furnishing provisions and the material for clothing for armed bodies in rebellion against the Government of the United States; that our railroads and other means of transportation are removing supplies to the depots of such troops; that this condition of things must terminate; that, by command of Major-General Burnside, you demand the surrender of this town into your hands, as the representative of the Government of the United States, at or before 5 o'clock this afternoon; that, failing an affirmative reply to this demand by the time indicated, sixteen hours will be permitted to elapse for the removal from the town of the women and children, the sick, wounded, and aged, which period having elapsed, you will proceed to shell the town.

In reply, I have to say that this communication did not reach me in time to convene the council for its consideration, and to furnish a reply by the hour indicated (5 p.m.). It was sent to me through the hands of the commanding officer of the army of the Confederate States near this town, to whom it was first delivered, by consent of General Patrick, who bore it from you, as I am informed and I am authorized by the commander of the Confederate Army to say that there was no delay in passing it through his hands to me.

In regard to the matters complained of by you, the firing of shots upon your troops occurred upon the northern suburbs of the town, and was the act of the military officer commanding the Confederate forces near here, for which matter [neither] the citizens nor civil authorities of this town are responsible. In regard to the other matters of complaint, I am authorized by the latter officer to say that the condition of things therein complained of shall no longer exist; that your troops shall not be fired on from this town; that the mills and manufactories here will not furnish any further supplies of provisions or material for clothing for the Confederate troops, nor will the railroads or other means of transportation here convey supplies from the town to the depots of said troops.

Outside of the town the civil authorities of Fredericksburg have no control, but I am assured by the military authorities of the Confederate Army near here that nothing will be done by them to infringe the con-