November 14, 1862: Gen. Burnside organizes the Army of the Potomac by creating a new unit designation: two corps combined would make a Grand Division. The II and IX Corps are designated as the Right Grand Division under Gen. Edwin V. Sumner, the I and VI Corps are combined into the Left Grand Division under Gen. William Franklin, the III and V Corps become the Central Grand Division under Gen. Joseph Hooker, and the XI Corps remains alone as the Reserve.
—Pres. Lincoln and Gen. Halleck both authorize Burnside to try his plan of a flanking march east to Fredericksburg, and thus the fateful campaign begins. Burnside issues orders for his army of 114,000 to step off tomorrow. The president gives his approval despite the clear opportunity for Burnside to interpose his army between Jackson at Winchester (in the Shenandoah Valley) and Longstreet at Warrenton, and thus split Lee’s army. (Click on map above.)
—The Richmond Daily Dispatch publishes a story on how the Richmond police arrested a counterfeiting ring run by slaves, who were stealing Confederate bank notes and forging the signatures on the money.