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[257] these commands were ordered back by General Lee toward South mountain.

Hooker, haunting the north bank of the Rappahannock, had observed Ewell's movement into the valley and believed it meant mischief to the North. When he found Longstreet following Ewell he also started for the Potomac. An army between the capital and invasion was the one besetting desire of Halleck, intent on defending Washington. Lee, consummate master of all strategy, no sooner had seen Hooker fairly in pursuit of Ewell than he took his hand off Fredericksburg, and A. P. Hill crossing the mountains marched with Longstreet into Maryland and on to Chambersburg.

Hooker's army was in Maryland keeping between Lee and Washington, on June 26th and then Hooker, chafing under Halleck's restrictions and unable to control events, with a great battle in the air, asked to be relieved from his command. Sober Meade succeeded him. This changed altogether the current of Lee's movement. Seeing Meade moving northwest from Frederick, intent on loosening his grip from the river, Lee became fearful for his own communications and the safety of Richmond, naked before her foe. General Dix was at Fortress Monroe, and before a resolute attack Richmond might have fallen. The capture of Harrisburg was abandoned; Longstreet and Hill were ordered eastward through the passes of South mountain, and Early back from the Susquehanna. Lee himself drew back from his invasion, striving to engage Meade's attention by a diversion east of the mountain.

Cautious Meade had seen through his great adversary's purpose. Having selected the general line of Pipe creek for his defense, he now threw his left wing forward to Gettysburg as a mask Already Lee was disposed to make sure of the same point. The shadow of the mighty battle was on them both.

On the 1st of July, 1863, the vanguards of the two

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