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Chapter 41:

  • Movement to draw forth the enemy
  • -- advance to Culpeper Court House -- cavalry engagement at Beverly's and Kelly's fords -- movement against Winchester -- Milroy's force captured -- the enemy Retires along the Potomac -- Maryland entered -- advance into Pennsylvania -- the enemy driven back toward Gettysburg -- position of the respective forces -- battle at Gettysburg -- the army Retires -- the Potomac swollen -- no interruption by the enemy -- strength of our force -- strength of the enemy -- the campaign closed -- Kelly's Ford -- attempt to surprise our army -- system of breastworks -- prisoners.

In the Spring of 1863 the enemy occupied his former position before Fredericksburg. He was in great strength, and, so far as we could learn, was preparing on the grandest scale for another advance against Richmond, which in political if not military circles was regarded as the objective point of the war. The consolidated report of the Army of the Potomac, then under the command of Major General Hooker, states the force present on May 10, 1863, to be 136,704.

General Lee's forces had been reorganized into three army corps, designated the First, Second, and Third Corps. In the order named, they were commanded by Lieutenant Generals Longstreet, Ewell, and A. P. Hill.

The zeal of our people in the defense of their country's cause had brought nearly all of the population fit for military service to the various armies then in the field, so that but little increase could be hoped for by the Army of Northern Virginia. Under these circumstances, to wait until the enemy should choose to advance was to take the desperate hazard of the great inequality of numbers, as well as ability to reenforce, which he possessed. In addition to the army under General Hooker, a considerable force occupied the lower part of the Valley of the Shenandoah.

It was decided by a bold movement to attempt to transfer hostilities to the north side of the Potomac, by crossing the river and marching into Maryland and Pennsylvania, simultaneously driving the foe out of the Shenandoah Valley. Thus, it was hoped, General Hooker's army would be called from Virginia to meet our advance toward the heart of the enemy's country. In that event, the vast preparations which had been made for an advance upon Richmond would be foiled, the plan for his

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Joseph Hooker (3)
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