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MILITARY EVENTS OF 1863—THE REBEL DEFEAT AT GETTYS
BURG-FALL OF VICKSBURG AND PORT HUDSON.
The military events of 1863, though of very great importance, are much less closely connected with the direct action of the President than those which occurred in 1862 ; we shall not attempt, therefore, to narrate them as much in detail. When General Burnside succeeded General McClellan iu command of the Army of the Potomac, on the 7th of November, 1862, that army was at Warrenton, the rebel forces falling back before it towards Richmond. Deeming it impossible to force the enemy to a decisive battle, and unsafe to follow him to Richmond on a line wbich must make it very difficult to keep up his communications, General Burnside, on the 15th, turned his army towards Fredericksburg—marching on the north bank of the Rappabannock, intending to cross the river, take possession of Fredericksburg, and march upon Richmond from that point. The advance division, under General Sumner, arrived opposite Fredericksburg on the 19th ; but a pontoon train, which had been ordered and was expected to be there at the same time, had not come—so that crossing at the moment was impossible. The delay that thus became unavoidable, enabled General Lee to bring up a strong force from the rebel army, and possess himself of the heights of Fredericksburg. On the night of the 10th of December, General Burnside threw a bridge of pontoons across the river, and the next day constructed four bridges, under cover of a terrific bombardment of the town. On the 11th and 12th his army was crossed over, and on the 13th attacked the ene
my--General Sumner commanding in front, and General Franklin having command of a powerful flanking movement against the rebel right. The rebels, however, were too strongly posted to be dislodged. Our forces suffered severely, and were unable to advance. On the nigbt of the 15th, they were therefore withdrawn to the opposite bank of the river. Our losses in this engagement were 1,138 killed, 9,105 wounded, 2,078 missing; total, 12,321.
The army remained quiet until the 20th of January, when General Burnside again issued orders for an advance, intending to cross the river some six or eight miles above Fredericksburg, and make a flank attack upon the left wing of the rebel army. The whole army was moved to the place of crossing early in the morning, but a heavy storm on the preceding night had so dainaged the roads as to make it impossible to bring up artillery and pontoons with the promptness essential to success. On the 24th, General Burnside was relieved from command of the Army of the Potomac, and General Hooker appointed in his place. Three months were passed in inaction, , the season forbidding any movement; but on the 27th of April, General Hooker pushed three divisions of his army to Kelley's Ford, twenty-five miles above Fredericksburg, and by the 30th had crossed the river, and turning south had reached Chancellorsville—five or six miles south west of that town. A strong cavalry force, under General Stoneman, had been sent to cut the railroad in the rear of the rebel army, so as to prevent their receiving re-enforcements from Richmond, General Hooker's design being to attack the enemy in flank and rear.
The other divisions of his army had crossed and joined his main force at Chancellorsville, General Sedgwick, with one division only, being left opposite Fredericksburg. On the 2d of May, the left wing of the rebel army, under General Jackson, attacked our right, and gained a decided advantage of position, which was recovered, however, before
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Tbc ce career in way joined his casi se strin Koi Sign with one dirisa or king O Muier On the 2d of May, the left wing of the model aren, die General Jackson, attacked our right, and gained and alvantage of position, which was mounowi donen los fine the day closed. The action was renewed next day, and the advantage remained with the enemy. General Sedgwick, meantime, had. crossed the river and occupied the heights of Fredericksburg, but was driven from them and compelled to retreat on the night of the 4th. On the morning of the 5th a heavy rainstorm set in, and in the night of that day General Hooker withdrew his army to the north bank of the Rappahannock, having lost not far from 18,000 in the move ment.
Both armies remained inactive until the 9th of June, when it was discovered that the rebel forces under Lee were leaving their position near Fredericksburg and moving northwest, through the valley of the Shenandoah. On the 13th the rebel General Ewell, with a heavy force, attacked our advance post of seven thousand men at Winchester under General Milroy, and not only compelled him to retreat but pursued him so closely as to convert his retreat into a rout: and on the 14th of June the rebel army began to cross the Potomac and advanced upon Hagerstown, Maryland, with the evident purpose of invading Pennsylvania. The movement created the most intense excitement throughout the country. President Lincoln issued a proclamation calling for 100,000 militia from the States most directly menaced, to serve for six months, and New York was summoned to send 20,000 also. On the 27th the main body of the rebel army crossed the Potomac at Williamsport, and General Lee took up his head-quarters at Hagerstown.
Meantime, as soon as the movement of the rebel forces from Fredericksburg was discovered, our army had broken up its encampment and marched northward, on a line nearly parallel with that of the enemy, and on the 27th, the same day that the rebels reached Hagerstown, the head-quarters of our army were at Frederick City-our whole force being thus interposed between the rebels and both Baltimore and