of supplies; and, by compelling him to keep his army together, they must soon surrender, for he was living on the country.
To this the General
did not reply, but asked me to ride up to the Round Top
with him; and as we rode along the ridge for nearly a mile, the troops cheered him in a manner that plainly showed they expected the advance.
When we reached the Round Top
everything was still in Lee
's position with the exception of a single battery which was firing upon some of our skirmishers to prevent their advancing.
I was so impressed with the idea that Lee
was retreating that I again earnestly urged General Meade
to advance the army; but instead of doing so, he ordered me to send some cavalry to ascertain the fact.
's Division of cavalry started soon after, and at eight o'clock the next morning I received his report, stating that he was twenty-two miles on the Cashtown
road, and that the enemy was not only retreating, but it was a rout, the road being encumbered with wounded and wagons in the greatest confusion.
On this report the two other divisions of cavalry were sent to intercept and harass Lee
in crossing the Potomac
; but the Army of the Potomac did not leave Gettysburg
for four or five days after, and then passed by the way of South Mountain
to the Antietam creek
In consequence of heavy rains the Potomac river
was so much swollen that Lee
could not cross, and the two armies were again brought face to face for two days. General Meade
declined to attack, and Lee
's army escaped.
The cavalry rendered important service after the battle of Gettysburg
, in pursuit.
They captured large trains of wagons, many prisoners, and were in such position that, had General Meade
on the 4th of July, the surrender of Lee
would have been unavoidable.
The two great objective points of the war were Washington
's army captured Washington
and held it, the South
would have been recognized by the nations of Europe
, and the war would have been continued by the North
under the greatest disadvantages.
When the army of the Potomac entered Richmond
, the Southern
cause was considered lost in Europe
, and the South
The recognition of the South
by foreign governments entered largely into the political and military operations of the government at Richmond
; and the invasion of Pennsylvania
by General Lee
, in 1863, cannot properly be explained by military seasons alone.
The attempt to do this is the weak point of General Longstreet
's defense of that campaign.
The chances of that campaign from a military point of view were so much against General Lee
, and the General
himself was so conscious of them, that his effort to prosecute