I laughed at this news, and said Stuart
has served us better than he is aware of; we shall now have no instructions from the aulic council until we have a battle.
, however, took the matter very seriously; thought I should take all the cavalry and capture Stuart
;. that the government would expect him to do so. I assured him that Lee
was of more importance to us than Stuart
; the latter was in a false position and useless to Lee
, and that it was a maxim in war never to interfere with the enemy when he was making a false move.
could only join Lee
by recrossing the Potomac
, which would occupy so much time as to prevent his being in the next battle; or he must pass round to the north of our army, in which event I should have the cavalry so placed that he would not be able to escape us. General Meade
then decided to leave the affair with me, and, as I expected, three or four days after, near a place called Hanover
's Division met Stuart
's command loaded down with plunder, which was recaptured, and, after a severe fight, Stuart
was compelled to make such a detour that he only joined Lee
on the second day of the battle, July 2d.
The Army of the Potomac was in motion by the 28th of June, moving north from Frederick City.
In arranging the line of march of the different corps, I was impressed with the idea that General Meade
considered that General Lee
would move toward Harrisburg
and cross the river in that vicinity.
He spoke of it to me more than once.
I could not believe it, although General Longstreet
states that, at one time, General Lee
did entertain that idea.
The general line of march of the army was too much to the east for a rapid concentration on Gettysburg
, and believing that General Lee
understood the advantages of that position as well as I did, I was determined to occupy it first.
I, therefore, ordered Buford
, with the first division of cavalry, to move from Middletown
by the way of Emmettsburg to Gettysburg
, and to hold that position at all hazards until the army could support him. In obedience to these orders, Buford
arrived at Gettysburg
on the afternoon of June 30th, and obtaining information that Lee
was in force on the Cashtown
road, he moved out on that road some four miles beyond Gettysburg
, and encamped for the night.
Early next morning General A. P. Hill
attacked him in force, but the nature of the ground was such that Buford
, with his splendid fighting, restrained the superior force against him until Reynolds
and others came up, and saved the position to the Army of the Potomac. General Longstreet
states that this rencontre “was totally unexpected on both sides.”
The above statement