“I am under orders to march with my division tomorrow morning at daylight, to Racoon Ford on the Rapidan, further orders will be given me on the march. What I am to do or where to go, I know not, so it turns out that the order to get ready for battle was merely an order to get ready for march.”
The troops believed they were headed for Fredericksburg, quartermaster clerk William H. Hill recorded in his diary. He wrote that they marched 18 miles on Tuesday, the 18th.
“Has rained on us all day,” 17th Regiment Private Robert A. Moore wrote in his diary that evening. “The roads are very muddy. Forded the Rapidan River.”
They camped that night at Raccoon Ford on the south side of the Rapidan.
The army’s shoe problem had not been resolved. Independent historian Jess N. McLean reports that Private Issac Y. Burdon of the Wayne Rifles, was “detached as a shoemaker in Richmond.”
On Wednesday, the 19th of November, it was warming, though still raining, when the regiment finished marching another 22 miles. They camped within 10 miles of Fredericksburg, the childhood home of President George Washington’s mother, Mary.