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‘ [506] and crossed the Potomac east of the Blue Ridge, in order that, by threatening Washington and Baltimore, the enemy would be forced to withdraw from the south bank of the Potomac, and thus the wounded and captured property on the field of Manassas be relieved from threatened attack. And afterward, this result accomplished, it was proposed to move the army into Western Maryland, establish our communication with Richmond, through the Valley of Shenandoah, and, by threatening Pennsylvania, induce the enemy to follow, and thus draw him from his base of supplies.

General's Lee's purpose, then, in transferring the seat of war to the north of the Potomac was: 1st. To relieve Virginia from the pressure of the contending armies, and delay another invasion until the next season. 2d. To inflict as great an injury, material and moral, to his enemy as was practicable. 3d. To reinforce the Confederacy by the alliance of Maryland, which could have been certainly secured by a permanent occupation, and by an exhibition of superior force. 4th. As a consequence, the occupation of the Federal capital, the evacuation of it by the Federal government, the acknowledgment of the Confederate government as a government de jure, as well as de facto, by France and England, and the necessary achievement of the independence of the Confederate States.

During the summer of 1862, the Emperor of the French had been openly in sympathy with the cause of the Confederate States, and under the name of, sometimes mediation, sometimes recognition, had always been anxious to intervene in their behalf. He was pressing the English government, without ceasing, to unite with him in acknowledging the existence of the new government, and recognition, as all the world knew at that time, meant independence. Therefore, when Lee crossed the Potomac, he was playing for a great stake. He had the certainty of relieving his own country from the burden of the war, and of beating back invasion until the next year; and he had the possibility of ending the war and achieving the independence of his people by one short and brilliant stroke of genius, endurance and courage. How he accomplished the first, and why he failed in the last, it shall be my endeavor to make plain in this narrative.

The victory at Manassas had left Lee with about 40,000 men. He had cooped up in the entrenchments of Washington about 160,000 men. The army which he led was composed of the veterans of Jackson's Foot Cavalry, of Hill's Light Division, and of Longstreet's First corps, seasoned by the marches and tempered by the victories in the Valley, in the seven days battles, at Cedar Run

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W. H. F. Lee (2)
James Longstreet (1)
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