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General Grant had no fixed plan of campaign beyond the general idea to avoid the strong defensive line occupied by General Lee behind Mine Run, and find a way to draw him out to open battle.
Before my troops reached the little city, and before the people of Fredericksburg knew that any part of the Confederate army was near, there was great excitement over the demand for surrender.
Bad as was being shot by some of our own troops in the battle of the Wilderness, - that was an honest mistake, one of the accidents of war, - being shot at, since the war, by many officers, was worse.
As full lines of battle could not be handled through the thick wood, I ordered the advance of the six brigades by heavy skirmish lines, to be followed by stronger supporting lines.
A little before noon I sent orders to all my batteries to open fire through the streets or at any points where the troops were seen about the city, as a diversion in favor of Jackson.
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