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[74] joined Longstreet's; those of S. Jones, Toombs, and Wilcox, G. W. Smith's; and Jackson's was composed of his former brigade, Elzey's, Crittenden's, and Walker's.

No army composed of new troops ever had general officers of more merit than those just enumerated. This fact, and the admirable character of the troops themselves, justified me in the belief that it was practicable for us to hold our position against such a force even as General McClellan was supposed to command. It was important to do so, to avoid the discouragement that would have been caused by falling back to the line of the Rappahannock, to protect so many more of our people, and to retain for the Confederate armies the use of the products of the valley of the Shenandoah, and of the counties of Loudon and Fauquier. But, that we might be prepared for the possible necessity of withdrawing from this position, Colonel Williamson, of the Engineer Department, was then engaged in the construction of field-works on the Rappahannock, to improve that line, naturally much stronger than the present one. Early in September the construction of batteries at Evansport was begun under the direction of Brigadier-General Trimble, by order of the War Department, to prevent the navigation of the Potomac by vessels of the United States.

About the 20th of the month I became convinced that the increasing strength and efficiency of the Federal army were rendering the position of the outposts at Munson's and Mason's Hills more hazardous daily, and therefore had them withdrawn.

We had been hoping, since the battle of Manassas,

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