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[75] result abundantly confirms my judgement as to the practicability, as well as utility, of the move. The main army, I was advised by the Commanding General, would move in two columns for the SusquehannaEarly commanded the advance of that one of these columns to the eastward, and I was directed to communicate with him as early as practicable after crossing the Potomac, and place my command on his right flank. It was expected I would find him in York. The newspapers of the enemy, my only source of information, chronicled his arrival there and at Wrightsville, on the Susquehanna, with great particularity. I therefore moved to join him in that vicinity. The enemy's army was moving in a direction nearly parallel to me. I was apprized of its arrival at Taneytown, when I was near Hanover, Pennsylvania, but believing from the lapse of time that our army was already in York or at Harrisburg, where it could choose its battleground with the enemy, I hastened to place my command with it. It is believed that had the corps of Hill and Longstreet moved on instead of halting near Chambersburg, that York could have been the place of concentration instead of Gettysburg. This move of my command between the enemy's seat of Government and the army charged with its defence, involved serious loss to the enemy in material and men, over one thousand prisoners having been captured, and spread terror and consternation to the very gates of the Capital. The streets were barricaded for defence, as also was done in Baltimore on the day following. This move drew the enemy's overwelming force of cavalry from its aggressive attitude towards our flank, near Williamsport and Hagerstown, to the defence of its own communications now at my mercy. The entire Sixth Army Corps in addition was also sent to intercept me at Westminster, arriving there the morning I left, which in the result prevented its participation in the first two days fight at Gettysburg.

Our trains in transit were thus not only secured, but it was done in a way that at the same time seriously injured the enemy. General Meade also detached 4,000 troops, under General French, to escort public property to Washington from Frederick, a step which certainly would have been unnecessary but for my presence in his rear, thus weakening his army to that extent. In fact, although in his own country, he had to make large detachments to protect his rear and baggage. General Meade also complains that his movements were delayed by the detention of his cavalry in his rear. He might truthfully have added by the movement in his rear of a large force of Confederate cavalry, capturing his trains and cutting all his communications with Washington. It is not to be supposed such delay in his operations could have been so effectually caused by any other disposition of the cavalry. Moreover, considering York as the point of junction, as I had every reason to believe it would be, the route I took was quite as direct and more expeditious than the alternate one proposed, and there is reason to believe that on that route my command would have been divided

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York (2)
George G. Meade (2)
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