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[173] such a movement simple madness. In order, however, to effect at least a diversion in favor of McClellan's worsted army, and to enable it to abandon the Peninsula without further loss, he drew Sigel from Middletown, via Front Royal, to Sperryville, on one of the sources of the Rappahannock, near the Blue Ridge; while Banks, following nearly the same route from the Valley, came in a few miles farther east; and Ricketts's division of Gen. McDowell's corps advanced south-westwardly from Manassas Junction to a point a little eastward of Banks. Pope wrote to Gen. McClellan, then on the Peninsula, a letter proposing hearty cooperation and soliciting suggestions, which elicited but a vague and by no means cordial response.1 He had doubtless suggested to the President the appointment of a common military superior; whereupon Maj.-Gen. Halleck was relieved of his command in the West and called2 to Washington as General-in-Chief, assuming command July 23d.

Before quitting Washington3 for the field, Pope had ordered Gen. King, at Fredericksburg, to push forward detachments of his cavalry to the Virginia Central Railroad and break it up at several points, so as to impede the enemy's communication between Richmond and the Valley; which was effected. He had likewise directed Gen. Banks to advance an infantry brigade, with all his cavalry, to Culpepper Court House, thence pushing forward cavalry so as to threaten Gordonsville. The advance to Culpepper having been unresisted, Banks was next ordered4 to send Hatch, with all his cavalry, to capture Gordonsville, destroy the railroad for 10 or 15 miles east of it, and thence push a detachment as far as Charlottesville, burning bridges and breaking up railroads as far as possible; but Hatch, taking along infantry, artillery, and heavy trains, was so impeded by bad roads that he had only reached Madison Court House on the 17th--a day after Ewell, with a division of Lee's army

1 McClellan and his lieutenants had of course read and resented Pope's address to his army on taking the field, which they, not unreasonably, interpreted as reflecting on their strategy, though Pope disclaims such an application. Its text is as follows:

Washington, July 14, 1862.
To the Officers and Soldiers of the Army of Virginia:
By special assignment of the President of the United States, I have assumed command of this army. I have spent two weeks in learning your whereabouts, your condition, and your wants; in preparing you for active operations, and in placing you in positions from which you can act promptly and to the purpose.

I have come to you from the West, where we have always seen the backs of our enemies — from an army whose business it has been to seek the adversary, and to beat him when found — whose policy has been attack, and not defense.

In but one instance has the enemy been able to place our Western armies in a defensive attitude. I presume that I have been called hero to pursue the same system, and to lead you against the enemy. It is my purpose to do so; and that speedily.

I am sure you long for an opportunity to win the distinction you are capable of achieving. That opportunity I shall endeavor to give you.

Meantime, I desire you to dismiss from your minds certain phrases which I am sorry to find much in vogue amongst you.

I hear constantly of taking strong positions and holding them — of lines of retreat and of bases of supplies. Let us discard such ideas.

The strongest position a soldier should desire to occupy is one from which he can most easily advance against the enemy.

Let us study the probable lines of retreat of our opponents, and leave our own to take care of themselves. Let us look before, and not behind. Success and glory are in the advance. Disaster and shame lurk in the rear.

Let us act on this understanding, and it is safe to predict that your banners shall be inscribed with many a glorious deed, and that your names will be dear to your countrymen forever.

John Pope, Maj.-Gen. Commanding.

2 July 11.

3 July 29.

4 July 14.

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