Both sides continued to prepare for the next great confrontation in the eastern theatre of war, the Battle of Fredericksburg, Virginia. On Thursday, November 20, 1862, General Robert E. Lee arrived at Fredericksburg, while General Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson’s corps at Winchester was preparing to move toward Fredericksburg.
Union forces continued to strengthen at Falmouth on Rappahannock* River. With Jackson’s force, the Confederates would eventually have approximately 72,500 troops to counter Burnside’s approximate 114,000 Federals. Both sides believed that victory was might force the opposing side to seek peace, while each side feared the worst as so many young men prepared for combat. It would be Burnside’s choice to attack Lee, so both sides waited for the first salvo in what seemed to be an unavoidable battle.