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[364] and bitter as this alternative was—seeing that it involved the abandonment of the scheme of invasion and all the high hopes built thereon—it was imperative, for the position he had to assail was one against which he might dash his army to pieces, but against which he could now hope for no success. Yet he did not begin an immediate retreat, but waited the whole of the following day, during which he was withdrawing his trains and disposing his army for a retrograde movement. And it is the most striking proof that could be given of the confidence Lee still had in his troops, that during that whole 4th of July he was in a mood to invite rather than dread an attack. Retiring his left from around the base of Culp's Hill and from the town of Gettysburg, which was reoccupied by Howard's troops during the forenoon, a strong line of works was thrown up from the Seminary northwestward, and covering the Mummasburg and Chambersburg roads, while another line was formed on the right flank, perpendicular with their general front, and extending back to Marsh Creek. Here, while employed in the work of sending off their wounded, burying their dead, etc., the Confederates stood at bay, hopeless of venturing another attack, yet quite willing to be attacked.

But this was not in the line of General Meade's intent, for having gained a victory, and being certain of the necessity that was upon his antagonist of making a retreat, he was in no mood to jeopard an assured success by any rash adventure.

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