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[20] dissent of the authorities from my views, and their opinion that the maintenance of the existing arrangement was necessary to enable us to retain the command of the Valley of Virginia, and our communications with Maryland, held to be very important.

General Lee wrote in his letter of June 1st: “I received, on my return from Manassas Junction, your communications of the 25th and 28th ult., in reference to your position at Harper's Ferry. The difficulties which surround it have been felt from the beginning of its occupation, and I am aware of the obstacles to its maintenance with your present force. Every effort has been made to remove them, and will be continued. But, with similar necessities pressing on every side, you need not be informed of the difficulty of providing against them. . . .” And in that of the 7th: “I have had the honor to receive your letter of the 6th inst. The importance of the subject has induced me to lay it before the President, that he may be informed of your views. He places great value upon the retention of the command of the Shenandoah Valley, and the position at Harper's Ferry. The evacuation of the latter would interrupt our communication with Maryland, and injure our cause in that State....”

The objects of the Confederate Government, expressed in these letters, were not to be accomplished by the concentration of its forces at Harper's Ferry; for General Patterson's invasion was to be from Chambersburg, and therefore by Williamsport and Martinsburg, a route beyond the control of Harper's Ferry.

Notwithstanding this determination on the part

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