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[194] among you, and will protect all of you in every opinion.

It is for you to decide your destiny freely and without constraint. This army will respect your choice, whatever it may be; and, while the Southern people will rejoice to welcome you to your natural position among them, they will only welcome you when you come of your own free will.

R. E. Lee, General Commanding.

The fond expectations which had prompted this address were never realized. The Marylanders had no gluttonous appetite for fighting on the side of the Union; still less for risking their lives in support of the Confederacy. All who were inclined to fighting on that side had found their way into the Rebel lines long before; there being little difficulty in stealing across the Potomac, and none at all in crossing by night to Virginia from the intensely disloyal, slaveholding counties of south-western Maryland. In vain was Gen. Bradley T. Johnson--who had left Frederick at the outset of the war to serve in the Rebel army — made Provost-Marshal of that town, recruiting offices opened, and all manner of solicitations to enlistment set forth. The number of recruits won to the Rebel standard while it floated over Maryland probably just about equaled its loss by deserters — say from 200 to 300.

The conduct of the Rebel soldiery was in the main exemplary. Hungry, ragged, and shoeless, as they often were, they rarely entered a house except by order, and never abused women; but cattle, horses, and everything that might contribute to the subsistence or efficiency of an army, were seized by wholesale, not only for present use, but thousands of animals were driven across the Potomac to replenish their wasted and inadequate resources.

Gen. McClellan was early apprised1 of the disappearance of the Rebels from his front, and soon advised that they were crossing into Maryland. His several corps were accordingly brought across the Potomac and posted on the north of Washington; which city he left2 in command of Gen. Banks, making his headquarters that night with the 6th corps, at Rockville. He moved slowly, because uncertain, as were his superiors, that the Rebel movement across the Potomac was not a feint. But his advance, after a brisk skirmish, on the 12th entered Frederick, which the Rebels had evacuated, moving westward, during the two preceding days, and through which his main body passed next day. Here he was so lucky as to obtain a copy of Lee's general order, only four days old, developing his prospective movements, as follows:

headquarters army of Northern Virginia, September 9, 1862.
The army will resume its march tomorrow, taking the Hagerstown road. Gen. Jackson's command will form the advance; and, after passing Middletown, with such portion as he may select, take the route toward Sharpsburg, cross the Potomac at the most convenient point, and, by Friday night, take possession of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, capture such of the enemy as may be at Martinsburg, and intercept such as may attempt to escape from Harper's Ferry.

Gen. Longstreet's command will pursue the same road as far as Boonsborough, where it will halt with the reserve, supply, and baggage trains of the army.

Gen. McLaws, with his own division and that of Gen. R. H. Anderson, will follow Gen. Longstreet; on reaching Middletown, he will take the route to Harper's Ferry, and, by Friday morning, possess himself of the Maryland Heights, and endeavor to capture the enemy at Harper's Ferry and vicinity.

Gen. Walker, with his division, after

1 Sept. 3.

2 Sept. 7.

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