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[361] army, of which he had made a complete circuit. This bold and memorable ride so irritated the Federal government that it peremptorily ordered McClellan to choose a line of attack and move against Lee in Virginia.

The experiences of the Federal army in the Great valley, both in Virginia and in Maryland, did not give them confidence in undertaking a new campaign, in that already famous region where ‘the strength of the hills’ had hitherto proven an efficient ally of the Confederates; so McClellan determined to draw Lee from the valley, by crossing to the east of the Blue ridge and then following along its eastern foot, and see what military results could be secured in the Piedmont region, which had hitherto only been tried at Cedar run. Crossing the Potomac October 23d, he successively occupied, with detachments, the gaps of the Blue ridge, making demonstrations across the same toward the Shenandoah, thus guarding his flanks as his army marched southward.

Lee was not slow to comprehend the plans of his opponent, which involved a new ‘on to Richmond.’ He immediately sent Longstreet to place his newlyconsti-tuted First corps athwart the front of McClellan's advance. Crossing the Blue ridge at Chester gap, he placed his command in the vicinity of Culpeper Court House, where he arrived November 6th, the very day that McClellan's advance arrived at Warrenton, in the vicinity of the road by which Longstreet's corps had passed just before. Jackson, with the Second corps of the army of Northern Virginia (also recently organized, but not announced as such until he crossed the Blue ridge, a few days later, and his army ceased to be, officially, that of the Valley district), was left in the Shenandoah valley, to remain, as long as he could prudently do so, as a protection to that great Confederate granary, and as a menace to McClellan's right, as he would hesitate to push far into Virginia so long as that ever-ready fighter and unconquerable leader remained in the lower valley, to him the land of victory, to McClellan that of defeat and disaster.

With his usual boldness, Lee did not hesitate to post the two wings of his army 60 miles apart, as the crow flies, well satisfied that with Longstreet's ability as a stubborn fighter when once in position, he could resist a front attack from McClellan and trust to Jackson to descend

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