Even though Lee knows that Fredericksburg is Burnside’s target, the Southern commander has pretty much decided that Burnside will beat him to it, since Longstreet is to the west, focused at Culpepper Court House, and Jackson is even farther west in the Shenandoah Valley. Longstreet’s division are immediately dispatched eastward, hoping to block the crossing of the Anna Rivers farther south, and to strike Burnside’s advance. But Burnside is not across the river. What Lee does not count on is the bureaucratic snarl that results from Gen. Burnside’s orders: the train of pontoon boats goes in the wrong direction, and then take way too long to get to Falmouth. So, Sumner arrives in Falmouth with his two corps two days ago, and other troops are arriving every hour, and yet the Federals have no good way to cross the river, which has become a raging torrent by now, due to heavy rains. All other possible crossing places, at the fords, are flooded. Lee begins to hurry troops to Fredericksburg.
—William J. Bolton, of the 51st Pennsylvania, having been badly wounded in the mouth at Antietam, has been promoted to Major, and is nearly fit for duty. Bolton records the events of the day, including their march to Falmouth for the Fredericksburg move:
—Capt. William Thompson Lusk, serving in the Union Army of the Potomac with the 2nd New York Infantry, writes home to his mother, complaining mildly about petty regimental politics:
Nov. 19th, 1862.
Here we are at last on familiar ground, lying in camp at Falmouth, opposite to Fredericksburg. I have been unable while on the march for the few days past, to write you, but am doing my best with a pencil to-night, as one of our Captains returns home to-morrow, and will take such letters as may be given him. It was my turn to go home this time, but my claim was disregarded. You know Lt.-Col. Morrison has command of the Regiment in Col. Farnsworth’s absence, and Morrison never omits any opportunity to subject me to petty annoyances. I am an American in a Scotch Regiment, and in truth not wanted. Yet I cannot resign. The law does not allow that, so I have to bear a great deal of meanness. . . . I have borne them of late without complaint, hoping the efforts of my friends might work my release. In the Regiments of the old Division I think no officer had so many strong friends as I. In my own Regiment I may say that I am friendless. . . .
—1st Lieut. Charles Francis Adams, Jr., serving in the 1st Massachusetts Cavalry Regiment, writes to his younger brother Henry, who serves their father (the U.S. Ambassador to Britain) as legation secretary, and complains about Army politics, especially in regard to the dismissal of Gen. McClellan:
|Charles Francis Adams, Jr., (hatless) with fellow officers in camp|
—James A. Seddon, of Virginia, is appointed as the new Secretary of War for the Confederate States of America.