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[146] slightest sense of defeat on our side at nightfall, and the ultimate effects of the engagement were overwhelmingly in our favor.

The results of the battle of Beverly ford were manifold. It provided information which enabled General Hooker to move in good time to keep pace with Lee's army of invasion en route to Maryland and Pennsylvania; it chilled the ardor of Stuart's men, delaying his march, and, in fact, ruining his plans, which had soared high; it enabled General Pleasonton to anticipate him on the east flank of the Blue Ridge as he marched toward the Potomac, and to hold him in check by the well-fought battles of Aldie, Mliddleburg and Upperville, on the 17th, 19th and 21st of June, until Hooker's main army, followed by our cavalry, was north of the river, causing subsequent bewilderment and anxiety to General Lee throughout the campaign to the very eve of the battle of Gettysburg. In his official report General Lee declares that on the 27th of June, while his own army was at Chambersburg, “no report had been received that the Federal army had crossed the Potomac, and the absence of the cavalry rendered it impossible to-obtain accurate information,” though at this date the Army of the Potomac was already at Frederick City, Maryland. Again he says: “By the route Stuart pursued the Federal army was interposed between his command and our main body. The march toward Gettysburg was conducted more slowly than it would have been had the position of the Federal army been known.” And, again, he mournfully reports: “It had not been intended to fight a general battle at such a distance from our base, unless attacked by the enemy; but, finding ourselves unexpectedly confronted by the Federal army, it became a matter of difficulty to withdraw through the mountains with our large trains.” All this gain for our side and loss for General Lee sprang directly from the battle of Beverly ford and the consequent cavalry operations on the eastern flank of the Blue Ridge, south of the Potomac. It would be difficult to find in history the record of a cavalry battle or any battle of similar numbers on each side so fruitful of immediate, decisive results.

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