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Gen. Hooker had now brought his army into a position by means of which he could cover Washington, and could readily move to the defence of Baltimore from the threatened attack of the advancing and powerful army led by Lee. For the ‘skill, energy, and endurance’ by means of which he accomplished this, he deserved and soon received the thanks of Congress. His headquarters on the 17th and 18th were in the immediate vicinity of our division at Fairfax Station. We saw him occasionally standing by a fire which burned near his tent, and remember seeing him light his cigar with a lighted sliver which his servant handed him. Our purpose now seems to have been to watch and wait for the further development of the enemy's plans. On the 15th, Ewell, who seems to have commanded the van of the Confederates, encountered Gen. Milroy west of Winchester. Ewell was apparently moving up the Potomac to some point above Martinsburg. The valley was swarming with Confederate troops, but the Army of the Potomac was so located that it could prevent their egress through the gaps of the Blue Ridge, or in the event of their crossing the upper Potomac, say at Martinsburg or Williamsport, could be in the valley of the Monocacy in a few hours, and ranging north and south of Frederick interpose itself between its adversaries and Baltimore, at the same time having the capital behind its protecting lines.

The superior portion of the Confederate army on the 19th and 20th was far up the Shenandoah Valley, beyond Luray, but gradually moving north. At this time Ewell's division, which routed Milroy's brigades defending Winchester, had moved to the Potomac, opposite Williamsport.

Now, in the further disposition of the Federal forces made necessary by the enemy's movements, the Sixth Army Corps was sent across Bull Run and along the line of the Alexandria and Orange Railroad, to occupy a position upon the plains, where it could observe and foil any attempt of the Confederates to cross to the east side of the mountains. As an element of this corps of observation and reconnoissance, our company crossed Blackburn's Ford on the 19th, marched over the rugged, broken ridge, the scene of the bloody conflict of July, 1861; over the knolls beyond; by the Brick Farmhouse so often mentioned in the annals of warfare in the Manassas region; by the junction,

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