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[505] offensive-defensive operation, having as its objective neither the invasion of Pennsylvania nor the redemption of Maryland, but only the relief of the Confederacy, as far as the means at his command would permit. The reason for, and object of, the Maryland campaign cannot be better stated than was done by General Lee himself in his report: ‘The armies of Generals McClellan and Pope,’ says he, ‘ had now been brought back to the point from which they set out on the campaigns of the Spring and Summer. The objects of their campaigns had been frustrated, and the designs of the enemy on the coast of North Carolina and Western Virginia thwarted by the withdrawal of the main body of his forces from those regions. Northeastern Virginia was freed from the presence of Federal soldiers up to the intrenchments of Washington, and soon after the arrival of the army at Leesburg information was received that the troops which had occupied Winchester had retired to Harpers Ferry and Martinsburg. The war was thus transferred from the interior to the frontier, and the supplies of rich and productive districts made accessible to our army. To prolong a state of affairs, in every way desirable, and not to permit the season for active operations to pass, without endeavoring to inflict further injury upon the enemy, the best course appeared to be the transfer of the army into Maryland. Although not properly equipped for invasion, lacking much of the material of war, and feeble in transportation, the troops poorly provided with clothing, and thousands of them destitute of shoes, it was yet believed to be strong enough to detain the enemy upon the Northern frontier, until the approach of winter should render his advance into Virginia difficult, if not impracticable. The condition of Maryland encouraged the belief that the presence of our army, however inferior to that of the enemy, would induce the Washington government to retain all its available force to provide against contingencies, which its course toward the people of that State gave it reason to apprehend.

At the same time it was hoped that military success might afford an opportunity to aid the citizens of Maryland in any efforts they might feel disposed to make to recover their liberties. The difficulties that surrounded them were fully appreciated, and we expected to derive more assistance in the attainment of our object from the just fears of the Washington government, than from active demonstration on the part of the people, unless success should enable us to give them assurance of continued protection.

Influenced by these considerations, the army was put in motion,

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