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[547]

McClellan reported Stuart's march. Halleck, then Commander-in-Chief at Washington, replies to him: “The President has read your telegram, and directs me to suggest that if the enemy had more occupation south of the river, his cavalry would not be likely to make raids north of it.” On the 25th October, McClellan telegraphs that his “horses are broken down from fatigue and want of flesh.” Lincoln rejoins: “Will you pardon me for asking what the horses of your army have done since the battle of Antietam that fatigues anything? Stuart's cavalry out marched ours, having certainly done more marked service in the Peninsula and every where since.” On the 3d of November, twenty days after he had bees ordered, McClellan finished crossing his army over the Potomac — not in General Lee's front, but in Loudoun county--carefully interposing the burly Blue Ridge between it and the Army of Northern Virginia, and securely holding the passes. Leaving Jackson in the lower Valley, General Lee quietly moved Longstreet and the cavalry up the Valley, and crossing them, at passes south of those held by McClellan, moved into Culpeper county, so that when the Federal commander reached Fauquier county the Rappahannock rolled once more peacefully between them. On the 7th of November, McClellan telegraphs: “I am now concentrating my troops in the direction of Warrenton.” An order prepared two days before relieved him from the command of his army. The storm of official displeasure which had been growing deeper and blacker, had burst at last above the head of the young Napoleon, and the fury of the gale was destined to sweep him, who was once the idol of the army and the people, from further participation in the struggle. To-day the tempest tossed winds are quiet beneath the rays of the sun of peace, and as its Governor, McClellan's command is the State of New Jersey. Burnside was his successor. He decided to make a rapid march of his whole force upon Fredericksburg, making that the base of his operations, with Richmond as the objective point. On the 17th of November his advance, Sumner's column, 33,000 strong, arrived in front of Fredericksburg. Had his pontoons arrived, Burnside says, “Sumner would have crossed at once over a bridge in front of a city filled with families of Rebel officers and sympathizers of the Rebel cause, and garrisoned by a small squadron of cavalry and a battery of artillery.” On the 15th, General Lee learned that transports and gunboats had arrived at Acquia creek. On the 18th Stuart, forcing his way across the Rappahannock at the Fauquier White Sulphur Springs, in the face of


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