nother battle with less than an absolute assurance of success.
At that moment — Virginia lost, Washington menaced, Maryland invaded — the national cause could afford no risks of defeat.
One battle lost, and almost all would have been lost.
Lee's army might then have marched as it pleased on Washington, Baltimore, Philadelphia, or New York.
It could have levied its supplies from a fertile and undevastated country; extorted tribute from wealthy and populous cities; and nowhere east of the Alleghanies was there another organized force able to arrest its march.
The following are among the considerations which led me to doubt the certainty of success in attacking before the 19th:
The troops were greatly overcome by the fatigue and exhaustion attendant upon the long-continued and severely contested battle of the 17th, together with the long day-and-night marches to which they had been subjected during the previous three days.
The supply-trains were in the rear, and many of the