This chapter describes preparations for the winter campaign. By December 1862 the Army of the Potomac numbered approximately 120,000 men in the three grand divisions, with the Eleventh and Twelfth Corps in reserve within reasonable marching distance. Having decided against crossing the Rappahannock at the fords above Fredericksburg or at Skinker's Neck, Burnside chose to attack where Lee would least expect it: Fredericksburg itself. Confederates eagerly anticipated the fight because they expected to win. The press also ridiculed the demoralized Army of the Potomac, filled with raw recruits and commanded by a mediocre general who feared meeting Lee in battle.
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