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[288] if I had marched the entire army in one column along the banks of the river, instead of upon five different parallel roads, the column, with its trains, would have extended about fifty miles, and the enemy might have defeated the advance before the rear could have reached the scene of action. Moreover, such a movement would have uncovered the communications with Baltimore and Washington on our right, and exposed our left and rear. I presume it will be admitted by every military man that it was necessary to move the army in such order that it could at any time be concentrated for battle; and I am of opinion that this object could not have been accomplished in any other way than the one employed. Any other disposition of our forces would have subjected them to defeat in detached fragments.

In the mean time the Confederate army had crossed the Potomac at two fords near Point of Rocks, entered Maryland, and marched as far as Frederick, which they reached and occupied on the 6th. The main body of the army encamped for some days on a line between Frederick and the Potomac River. Recruiting-offices were opened in the city, and citizens invited to enlist; but very few recruits were obtained. An address was issued to the people of Maryland by General Lee, but no enthusiastic response was made; and the Confederate leaders were much disappointed at the coldness and indifference with which they were received.

On the 10th, General Lee began to evacuate Frederick, and, taking the road to Hagerstown, crossed the Catoctin Mountains, passed through the valley in which Middletown is situated, and drew up his forces along the crest of South Mountain, to

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