Part 6. civil War letters, 1863-1865
Headquarters army of the Potomac, South Mountain Pass, July 10, 1863. I have been so busy I could not write. You must depend on George3 for letters. Lee has not crossed and does not intend to cross the river, and I expect in a few days, if not sooner, again to hazard the fortune of war. I know so well that this is a fortune and that accidents, etc., turn the tide of victory, that, until the question is settled, I cannot but be very anxious. If it should please God again to give success to our efforts, then I could be more tranquil. I also see that my success at Gettysburg has deluded the people and the Government with the idea that I must always be victorious, that Lee is demoralized and disorganized, etc., and other delusions which will not only be dissipated by any reverse that I should meet with, but would react in proportion against me. I have already had a very decided correspondence with General Halleck upon this point, he pushing me on, and I informing him I was advancing as fast as I could. The firm stand I took had the result to induce General Halleck to tell me to act according to my judgment.4 I am of opinion that Lee is in a strong position and determined to fight before he crosses the river.
|Map: parts of Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia, covered by the operations of the army of the Potomac from 1861 to 1865.|