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[114]

Sickles reviews his eighteen thousand troops, unaware of Jackson's flanking March The photograph, presented one-half above and one-half below, is a reflection of history in the very making. It was at midnight on May 1, 1863, that Lee and Jackson sat on two cracker-boxes before their fire in the abandoned Union camp, and conceived the audacious idea of flanking the Federals. It was 5.30 the next morning that Jackson formed his devoted veterans in column, then bade his last farewell to his chief, and rode into the tangled forest. And it was the same morning that a Union photographer made this picture of Major-General Daniel E. Sickles reviewing his Third Corps of the Army of the Potomac, 18,000 horse, foot, and artillery — all unsuspecting that a couple of miles distant 31,000 in gray were pushing across their front and around to the unprotected rear of the Union encampment: The confidence of the Federals was only natural. Who would have suspected that Lee, with less than 45,000 men, all told, would deliberately have detached more than two-thirds of them in the face of Hooker's encamped 70,000? But Lee was a military genius, and genius knows when to dare — especially with a leader in the field like “StonewallJackson, no less secret than swift. And so it befell that when the Confederate column was spied passing over a bare hill about a mile and a half from the left of Sickles's line, General Hooker supposed that such a movement could mean only a retreat. He ordered a pursuit. This drew a division away from a point where soon it was sorely needed. For Jackson's Corps, having passed around the Federal right, formed in battle-line, burst through the woods in the rear of the unsuspecting Federals, and drove them in utter rout. It was a piece of strategy as daring as it was masterly.

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