November 17, 1862: Reached the Neighborhood of Fredericksburg
Raining in the morning, we resumed our march early and at 2 O’c P.M. reached the neighborhood of Fredericksburg when we halted, and Companies A., G., and I., of our Regt. were sent out to the left on a reconnaissance, which proving satisfactory, we started back. Met our Brigade and three Batteries, where we situated to the left. We marched up a hill in five columns. Our Regt. had to climb an almost perpendicular hill. We had not formed in line of battle when we were order[ed] to another place before we were finally formed. Pettits battery opened on a Rebel battery, which he soon forced to leave in double quick time. They sent a few shell[s] at us which busted near to us but done no injury. the firing commenced at 3 1/2 O’clock. after it was over our Brigade took possession of the town of Falmouth. the 2nd Del. encamped just outside of the town, and in sight of Fredericksburg. We marched about 15 miles today, our rout[e] lay through a country about on a par with the balance of the route from Warrenton.
General Burnside’s Army of the Potomac arrived at Stafford Heights (across the Rappahannock River from Fredericksburg, Virginia), where they stayed for nearly a week, waiting for pontoons and boats to arrive to help the troops cross the Rappahannock so that they could enter Fredericksburg. Waiting for the pontoons to arrive gave General Lee and the Army of Northern Virginia time to move more Confederate soldiers into the region to better defend Fredericksburg.
Source: National Park Service Battle of Fredericksburg History