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A restful scene at General McDowell's headquarters-taken while Stuart's cavalry was extremely busy The Federals were camping in peaceful and luxurious fashion, August, 1862, quite unconscious that Jackson with Stuart's cavalry, was cutting in between them and Washington. It would have seemed madness to the Union generals in command of one hundred thousand men, with potential reinforcements of fifty thousand more, that the Confederate leaders should split their army of only fifty-five thousand and separate the parts by two days march. It turned out that the Confederate generals were “mad,” but that there was brilliant method in their madness. Twice they had attempted to turn the Federal right, when Pope lay across the Rappahannock waiting for McClellan's return from the Peninsula, and twice the watchful Pope had foiled the attempt. It was not until Jackson left Early's brigade in an exposed position across the hastily repaired bridge at Rappahannock Station that he managed to delude the Union general into accepting this point as his real objective. Leaving Early quite as mystified as his opponent, Jackson dispatched Stuart with all the cavalry to Catlett's Station, on the Orange & Alexandria Railroad, where Pope's supply trains were parked. The night of August 23d was pitchy black, and the rain was descending in torrents, when the Confederate horsemen burst into Pope's camp. A few hours later they rode away with the Federal general's uniform and horses, his treasure-chest and personal effects, a member of his staff, and some three hundred prisoners, leaving the blazing Camp behind them. The retreat of the cavalry was the final indication that there would be no more efforts to turn his right. Two days later Jackson, with twenty thousand men, marched around the Union right and, joined by Stuart's cavalry, captured the immense supply-department depot at Manassas Junction.

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