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[337] will be allowed within the limits of this army at least. Marylanders shall once more enjoy their ancient freedom of thought and speech. We know no enemies among you, and will protect all, of every opinion. It is for you to decide your destiny freely and without constraint. This army will respect your choice, whatever it may be; and while the Southern people will rejoice to welcome you to your natural position among them, they will only welcome you when you come of your own free will.

This magnanimous declaration fell upon cold ears, for the Piedmont region, in which Frederick is situated, contained few sympathizers with the Confederate cause. The majority of its people were contented and well-to-do owners of small farms, most of them of German descent, whose affiliations were more with Pennsylvania to the north than with Virginia to the south of them. It would have been quite different had Lee arrived among the men of Midland or Tidewater Maryland; but he had no time to wait on political action, for McClellan had gathered up full 90,000 men, veterans and new recruits, and, without orders from the authorities at Washington, was marching to again attack Lee. This made it important for him to at once turn his attention to military affairs. The alarm that followed the retreat of Pope to Washington had somewhat subsided, but there was no telling what Lee, Jackson and Stuart might attempt to do, and so Banks was held within the fortifications of the Federal city, with 75,000 men, to guard against an emergency. McClellan, resting his right on the Baltimore & Ohio and his left on the Potomac, advanced his lines, slowly and cautiously, toward the banks of the Monocacy, along which he had been informed Lee's army was encamped.

Lee desired to draw McClellan further from his base of supplies than the valley of the Monocacy; preferred to contend with him beyond the Blue ridge (here called the South mountain), in the vicinity of Hagerstown, if he could draw him that far away, where, at the same time, he could threaten an invasion of Pennsylvania, which was one of the cherished designs of Stonewall Jackson. The one obstacle to delay this movement was the Federal garrison, of some 12,000 men, holding Harper's Ferry, with outposts at Martinsburg and other points on the Baltimore & Ohio. Lee had ordered Loring, in the Kanawha valley, to move his force to Winchester, which place he had selected as the rendezvous for his stragglers and men from hospitals, and for a depot of supplies. This made

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R. E. Lee (6)
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