Federal forces by the end of November 1862 realized that the winter would soon impede military activity in the American East. So, just as Union General Ambrose Burnside prepared to attack Lee’s Confederates at Fredericksburg, Virginia, other Union forces engaged in military activities.
In Arkansas, Union forces under James Blount routed Confederate forces of John Maraduke, giving the Union army a temporary advantage in the Trans-Mississippi West. In Mississippi, at Holly Springs there were skirmishes for two days as Union forces began to stockpile supplies for their anticipated, spring advance against Confederate held Vicksburg on the Mississippi River. And in Virginia, Union forces conducted a three-day reconnaissance from Chantilly, Virginia to Berryville. These actions were critical, given the impending arrival of winter, when most units ceased their military operations.