17th Mississippi Private Robert A. Moore’s weary return to Fredericksburg from his furlough home to Mississippi turned exciting two days later, Wednesday, April 29, 1863, when “We were awoke this morning by the ringing of the alarm-bell…”
“The enemy crossed the Rappahannock River at daylight 1 mile below town,” the 13th Mississippi’s Spartan Band diarist William H. Hill recorded.
“They have two pontoon bridges across. There was some little skirmishing this morning, but the day passed without a general fight. Our Brigade still occupies the town but the wagons and ambulance train fell back 2 miles to the rear on Telegraph Road.”
Moore wrote that by evening, when it began to rain, the brigade learned that the enemy also was crossing the river above the town “and met but little opposition. We are in front of them on picket to-night. Several thousand have crossed.”