and during that night the Second corps forded it at Williamsport
, while the First and Third began crossing the pontoon at Falling Waters
, a few miles lower down the river.
so engaged the attention of Meade
that the latter was not aware of Lee
's crossing until it was well-nigh done.
The Federal cavalry pressed against Hill
's rearguard, composed of Heth
's division, but to be repulsed with loss.
The most serious damage to the Confederates
was the death of the heroic Pettigrew
in the rear-guard skirmish.
By noonday of the 14th the three army corps were again in Virginia
, and the Federal
army was left in amazement at the skill with which Lee
had withdrawn from their front and crossed a great river, practically without loss.
It was evident that there was no fight left in the Federal
army, and Meade
was quite content to remain north of the Potomac
and carefully watch between Lee
Before recrossing the Potomac
, and while awaiting an attack from Meade
wrote again, urging President Davis
to gather an army, under Beauregard
, and threaten Washington
, as he had persistently asked should be done before and during his invasion of Pennsylvania
He asserted that he was not discouraged, had not lost faith in Providence
or in his army, the fortitude of which had not been shaken, and that the Federal
army, though it had been much shattered, could easily be reinforced, while he could expect no addition to his numbers; hence the necessity for an immediate demonstration toward Washington