of June, was as ignorant of the position of Hooker
's army as were Generals Lee
, on the 27th of June, at Chambersburg
should have hurried on to Chambersburg
under such conditions, is best explained by the ancient adage : “Whom the gods wish to destroy they first make mad.”
lay great stress on the absence of Stuart
's cavalry as one of the principal causes of failure of the campaign on their side.
I have shown that the two divisions of the cavalry corps of the Army of the Potomac had effectually prevented Lee
's cavalry from obtaining any information in Virginia
with reference to the movements of that army.
Now, on arriving at Frederick City, Maryland, my corps was reinforced by a third division, commanded by Kilpatrick
, and Farnsworth
, and it is assuming nothing to assert that what had been done by my two divisions in Virginia
could be accomplished by three divisions with more ease and certainty in Maryland
Two days after I arrived at Frederick City, General Meade
relieved General Hooker
of the command of the Army of the Potomac.
On assuming the command, General Meade
sent for me, and in strong terms deprecated the change in commanders with a battle so near at hand, acknowledged his ignorance with regard to the army in general, and said he would be obliged to depend a great deal upon me to assist him. Our relations were of the most cordial and friendly character, and I soon gave him to understand my views, for we then knew that Lee
's army was moving toward Chambersburg
I told him that Lee
would make for Gettysburg
, and that if he seized that position before we could reach it we should have hard work to get him out, and that to prevent his doing so would depend more on the cavalry than anything else.
I called his attention to a division of cavalry near Frederick City, which he might place under my command, and I would like to have officers I would name specially assigned to it, as I expected to have some desperate work to do. The General assented to my request, and upon my naming the officers, he immediately telegraphed to have them appointed brigadier generals.
This was his first dispatch to Washington
, and in the afternoon he received the reply making the appointments, and directing the officers to be assigned at once.
They were Custer
, and Farnsworth
; all three young captains, and two of them, Custer
, my aides-de-camp.
While the General
and myself were in conversation in reference to the campaign a second dispatch was brought him, stating that Stuart
, with his cavalry, were making a raid near Washington City
, and had cut the wires, so that we had no