On Saturday, April 11, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln, just returned from his visit to Joseph Hooker’s Army of the Potomac, conferred with his Cabinet members and General-in-Chief Henry Halleck on military matters.
The following day Lincoln received a letter from General Hooker in which the general proposed to outflank Lee’s army which opposed him across the Rappahannock at Fredericksburg. Hooker noted that he intended to cross the river, turn the Confederate left flank, and use his cavalry to server connections with Richmond. He would then engage and destroy Lee’s army.
Hooker’s plan was exactly what Lincoln had earlier encouraged Hooker to do during his visit with the Army of the Potomac, but turning Lee’s left flank would eventually lead both armies to the bloody battlefield of Chancellorsville, Virginia.