there is reason to think he mustered over 100,000 men, not over 83,000 of whom were in the actions of the 1st, 2d, and 3d of July. Gen. Humphreys
states that the Army of the Potomac consisted of 70,000 infantry, 10,000 cavalry, and 300 guns.
It was now that Gen. Hooker
requested that the troops at Harper's Ferry
be placed at his disposal; not only were they needed for the active campaign which was in progress, but bitter experience had demonstrated the futility of attempting to hold that place for a defensive position.
The opinion that it was vastly easier to capture it with a comparatively small force than to hold it with a large number, had been more than once expressed by generals of reputation on both sides.
In the present instance of invasion, for any impediment that it placed in the way of the Confederate
entry into Maryland
, it were as well not in being.
But General-in-Chief Halleck
refused to allow the withdrawal of the troops from this position, and Gen. Hooker
tendered his resignation as commander of the Army of the Potomac.
Strange to relate, his resignation was immediately accepted; and Gen. Meade
, obeying as a soldier the orders of the general-in-chief
, assumed command on the 28th.
We judge that this fact was not generally known by the rank and file of the Sixth Corps, until the night of the 1st of July; for then the general order
of the new commander was read to our company in line, in which, after stating that he assumed command in obedience to orders as a soldier, he briefly reviewed the military situation, reminding his command of the momentous issues at stake, making an earnest appeal to their patriotism, and enjoining strict fidelity to duty.
If the reader will glance once more at the map of Pennsylvania
, and note the situation of York
, and their position with reference to Harrisburg
, and Baltimore
, and remember that on the 29th and 30th of June, and the 1st of July, the left of Lee
's army, commanded by Ewell
, was in the region in which these places are situated, he will understand why the Sixth Corps, at this moment the right of the Army of the Potomac, should have been at Manchester
, forty-two miles northwest of Baltimore
‘Boots and saddles’ sounded at half-past 7 P. M.; the company was in line and ready for the road a few minutes later.