Saturday, November 7, 1863
Under pressure from President Abraham Lincoln to pursue Confederate General Robert E. Lee Army of the Potomac commander George Meade planned a new offensive movement to strike the Confederates near Brandy Station. Early this morning the Army of the Potomac began a march to cross the Rappahannock River, with the Second Corps crossing at Kelly's Ford. General Robert E. Lee, however, declined to meet Meade near Brandy Station, and withdrew to a position on the south side of the Rapidan River. General Meade decided to relocate the Army of the Potomac for winter quarters positioned between the Rappahannock and Rapidan Rivers near Stevensburg.1
1Richard F. Miller, Harvard's Civil War: A History of the Twentieth Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry (Lebanon, New Hampshire: University Press of New England, 2005), 304-5.