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The Battle of Franklin's Crossing

June 5, 1863 in City/County, Virginia

Union Forces Commanded by:
Maj. Gen. John Sedgewick
Forces Killed Wounded Captured
- 57 k&w - -

Confederate Forces Commanded by:
Lt. Gen. Ambrose P. Hill
Forces Killed Wounded Captured
- - - 35

**Missing and Captured
Conclusion: Inconclusive Victory


The leading elements of the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia abandoned their lines at Fredericksburg on June 3rd. Gen. Robert E. Lee had decided to invade the North for a second time, and throughout the 3rd and 4th, the Confederates marched westward toward the Shenandoah valley. Rumors of this Confederate movement filtered into Union headquarters across the Rappahannock River, where Maj. Gen. Joseph Hooker evaluated the information. To check the accuracy of the reports, Hooker ordered a reconnaissance in force for the 5th.
Maj. Gen. John Sedgewick's VI Corps drew the assignment. Union infantry, supported by artillery, moved during the morning down to the river at franklin's Crossing near Deep Run (the point used to cross the river during the Battle of Fredericksburg). Confederates, shielded by rifle pits, fired upon the Federals, who, though replying with musketry and artillery charges, could not dislodge the Confederates. The 26th New Jersey and 5th Vermont, supported by 2 regiments, attempted a crossing but were repulsed.
Sedgewick personally oversaw the operations and ordered a crossing in pontoon boats. the 2 Union regiments pushed the pontoon boats to the river's edge, crawled in, and went across. Landing on the southern bank, the Federals charged into the Confederates, seizing the pits and 35 prisoners. Pushing into the adjoining woods, the Federals halted before more Confederates, supported by artillery. The Union troops withdrew, suffering 57 casualties. The presence of additional Confederates convinced sedgewick that Lee still held his lines in strength.
Sedgewick's assesment was only partially correct. His veterans had encountered Lt. Gen. Ambrose P. Hill's III Corps troops. Hill's, however, was the only corps left around Fredericksburg, under orders to follow if the Federals did not cross in force. Hill marched the next day. Hooker, still unconvinced, ordered reconnaissance by his cavalry, resulting in the June 9th battle of Brandy Station.
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