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The leisurely pursuit Meade's army crossing the Potomac at Berlin, eighteen days after the battle of Gettysburg. Lincoln never ceased to regret that he had not gone in person to Gettysburg to push the pursuit of Lee. Not till July 5th did Meade put his army in motion to follow the Confederates, who had marched all afternoon and all night in the pouring rain, impeded with heavy trains of ammunition which might easily have been captured. Lee found the pontoon bridges which he had left at Falling Waters destroyed by a Federal raiding party sent by General French from Frederick, and drew up his army for the battle that he anticipated must be fought before recrossing the Potomac. Not till the night of July 13th did Meade determine upon an attack. Meanwhile Lee had gained the time necessary to repair his bridges and retreat into Virginia. Meade could not follow directly. Only after a long march through the neighborhood of Harper's Ferry did he get his army across. Before he could strike the Confederates again, Lee was strongly posted along the line of the Rapidan.

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