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[305] and the march was not a long one to either of these places. A blow at Gordonsville would break Lee's line of railway communication with his best base of supplies in the Great Valley, and it was rightly concluded that if that blow were struck, Lee would meet it with a portion of his army, and thus give McClellan, opportunity to escape.

Full of ambition to accomplish what his predecessors had failed to do, and equally full of himself, and hoping to infuse some of the same spirit into the men whom Jackson had so lately roughly handled and discomfited, Pope joined his army near Sperryville, and on the 14th of July issued a very remarkable address, in which he said, among other things:

I have come to join you from the West, where we have always seen the backs of our enemies; from an army whose business it has been to seek the adversary and beat him when found; whose policy has been attack, not defense. . . . I desire you to dismiss from your minds certain phrases, which I am sorry to find in vogue amongst you, of lines of retreat and bases of supplies. Let us dismiss such ideas. The strongest position a soldier should desire to occupy is one from which he can most easily advance toward the enemy. Let us study the possible lines of retreat of our opponents, and leave our own to take care of themselves. Let us look before us and not behind. Success and glory are in the advance. Disaster and shame lurk in the rear.

After this bombastic fulmination, Pope immediately proceeded to wage unsoldierly war upon the peaceable citizens of the surrounding country, and ‘disaster’ to these citizens followed every movement of his army. Under pain of expulsion from their homes, he ordered that every male citizen of the region dominated by him should take the oath of allegiance to the United States, and thus old men and boys, women and children became the suffering victims of this braggart, who expressed himself so anxious to meet and fight the Confederate soldiers.

McClellan was still lingering on the banks of the James, and Lee was as yet uncertain what his discomfited opponent might be ordered to do; but, watching the whole military chess-board in Virginia, he saw that it would not do to let Pope enter the field of contention without having him met by one competent to manage him, so, on the 13th of July, just as Pope was riding in from Washington to take command of his army of Virginia, Lee ordered Jackson to Gordonsville with Robertson's

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