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Part 5. narrative of the battle of Gettysburg


I: the March to Gettysburg

On the afternoon of the same day on which this last letter was written, June 25, General Meade received the order of march for the following day, which was to bring his corps to Frederick City, Maryland. Accordingly, early in the morning of June 26, the corps started en route for that place, and going by way of Carter's Mill1 and Leesburg, crossed the Potomac at the upper pontoon bridge, at Edwards's Ferry, and proceeded to within four miles of the Monocacy, where it encamped for the night. Resuming its march, early on the 27th, it forded the Monocacy near its mouth, and arrived toward afternoon at Ballinger's Creek, just outside of Frederick City.

After making proper dispositions for the encampment of the corps, General Meade rode into Frederick City with one or two of his staff, hoping to meet there General Hooker, whom he had not seen since breaking camp near Banks's Ford, on the Rappahannock, on the 13th of June, and to gain some information as to the plans and supposed whereabouts of the enemy; in which hope he was disappointed, General Hooker not having yet arrived.

Returned to camp, ignorant of a great change which had been decided upon and impended over him and the army, General Meade lay quietly asleep in his tent at three o'clock of the morning of June 28, when he was aroused by hearing on the outside an inquiry for his tent, by a person who claimed to be the bearer of important despatches to him. This proved to be Colonel James A. Hardie, of General Halleck's staff, who entered General Meade's tent and executed his mission.

What this mission might have been was the occasion of agitated comment among several of General Meade's aides, who, their tents

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