army; that the whole country was applying for arms and troops; that he could take none from other points for that army, and could do no more to increase its strength than send it as many recruits as there were arms in our ordnance-store-twenty-five hundred.
This, of course decided the question of active operations then.
then proposed some operations of a partisan character, especially an expedition, by a detachment, against Hooker
's division, in Maryland
, opposite to Evansport
I objected to this proposition, because we had no means of transporting any sufficient body of men to the Maryland
shore quickly; and the Potomac
being controlled by Federal vessels-of-war, such a body, if thrown into Maryland
, would inevitably be captured or destroyed in attempting to return, even if successful against the land forces.
Upon my declining such an enterprise, the conference terminated.
The army had advanced to Fairfax Court-House, for the contingency of being made strong enough to assume the offensive while General McClellan
's was still unprepared to take the field.
The semicircular course of the Potomac
, and roads converging from different points on it to our position, made it easy for the Federal
army to turn either of our flanks without exposing its own communications.
As that great army became capable of manoeuvring, the position of ours, of course, became more hazardous.
On the 19th of October, therefore, it was drawn back to Centreville
— a position much stronger in front, as well as less easily and safely turned.
's and Longstreet
's divisions occupied the