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June 3, 1863: Lee's forces on the move

Jun. 3, 2013 - 04:24PM   |  
The headquarters of the Army of the Potomac is seen near Fairfax, Va., in May 1863.
The headquarters of the Army of the Potomac is seen near Fairfax, Va., in May 1863. (Library of Congress)
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FREDERICKSBURG, Va. — Gen. Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia is on the move.

Confederate commanders declined to disclose their new objective, but troops were busy throughout the Fredericksburg region this morning striking camps and readying supply wagons.

Lead units could be seen moving west along the southern banks of the Rappahannock River towards Culpepper.

Across the river, Union troops say they’re ready for the rebels, wherever they’re headed.

Sgt. Edwin Havens with 7th Michigan Cavalry Regiment at a camp near Kettle Run, Va., said there are reports that Confederate cavalry commander Jeb Stuart and his troopers might becoming in their direction.

“It was rumored that he had 10,000 men with him. But even if this were so, and he should chose to make an attack upon any station between Union Mills and the Rappahannock he will meet with a warm reception and I strongly doubt his show of success,” said Havens.

“Many are apprehensive that Stuart will make a raid in this direction and I think the chances quite good for the attempt, yet I can see but little that he can accomplish by such an act. There is a strong probability that he might go up to the very gates of Washington but it would be only to expose his command to certain destruction as he could never get out again.”

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