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[99] easier to defeat in Virginia; but bear in mind that the great condition to assure its defeat was to force it to attack General Lee. Moreover, he did manoeuvre in Virginia inviting an attack, but in vain-at least he gave Hooker opportunities which were not availed of, and no disposition shown to act on them during the few days they remained open. It is also very certain that General Lee could never have established his army in Pennsylvania with his communications open so as to get supplies, even of ammunition; but yet I think he could easily have so manoeuvred as to force Meade to attack him. A position covering Fairfield would have given him the Valley to support himself himself on, and would have been so threatening to Washington, Baltimore, Philadelphia and Harrisburg that public clamor would have forced Meade to try and dislodge him. We had ammunition enough for one good fight, and in a victory would capture enough for the next. If Lee was to cross the Potomac at all, I don't think the crossing should necessarily have been dependent on a previous victory. A subsequent one would have answered all purposes, and in all human probabilities it was nearly as certain.

They could have been forced to attack us, and they never had driven us from a field since the war began. Excellent positions also were to be found every where in that section, which was a lime-stone country, well cleared and abounding in long parallel ridges like the Seminary ridge or Cemetery ridge at Gettysburg. So much for the general plan of the campaign; and before proceeding to the next questions of ----, relating more to the incidents of the battle itself, it is in order to inquire why the original plan was changed and an offensive battle delivered. And, on this subject, I know little or nothing that is not contained in General Lee's report. My general recollection is that we considered the enemy very slow in moving upon us, and took our time every where to give him opportunities to attack, if he desired, and that the concentration which was ordered at Gettysburg was intended as an offer of battle to him. In making this concentration Hill's corps unexpectedly came in collision with Reynolds' corps, and the thing began. Reynolds' corps was not expected there, and our information of the enemy's movements was incomplete on account of the absence of all of the cavalry, or nearly all, with General Stuart, who, instead of being between us and the enemy, was on

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Fitzhugh Lee (4)
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