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December 16: Recrossed the River

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Diary Entry:
Our Brigade was relieved at 1 O’c. this morning when we found that most of the troops had recrossed the river. at 3 A.M. we crossed and returned to our old Camp near Falmouth. After getting into Camp a very heavy rain fell, which made us very uncomfortable.
See the scanned diary pages 44 and 45.
More Information:
After spending the part of the night of December 15-16 on picket duty, Cyrus’ brigade was relieved and sent back across the Rappahannock River on pontoon bridges to their camp near Falmouth, Virginia. The December 19, 1862, edition of the Delaware State Journal and Statesman ran a dispatch from General Burnside:
The Army of the Potomac was withdrawn to this side of the Rappahannock River, because I felt fully convinced that the position in front could not be carried, and it was a military necessity either to attack the enemy or retire. A repulse would have been disastrous to us under existing circumstance.

The army was withdrawn at night without the knowledge of the enemy, and without loss, either of property or men.
—Ambrose E. Burnside, Major General Commanding

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