This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
 We left McClellan on the 9th occupying the ridges along the line of the Seneca. On the 10th he moved his centre some five miles further to Damascus and Clarksburgh, and his left to Poolesville and Barnesville where he came in contact with Stuart's lines. The duty of the cavalry was only to cover the movements of Lee which had begun that morning, and Stuart merely held his position until pressed back by McClellan's infantry. On the 11th he withdrew, still spreading a cordon of cavalry, covering about twenty miles between the Federal and Confederate armies. Munford, with the Second and Twelfth Virginia cavalry (the rest of Robertson's brigade being on detached service), was moved back to Jefferson and thence to Crampton's Gap; Fitz Lee was directed to move from New Market around Frederick to the north and cross the Catoctin range six miles above Frederick, while Hampton retired leisurely to Frederick, six miles distant. Familiarity with the topography, since boyhood, refreshed by personal inspection this summer, has only increased my admiration for Stuart's genius for war. In a strange country, with ordinary maps as his guides, his dispositions could not have been excelled, if he were operating over territory carefully described and accurately portrayed by the most skilful engineers. From the moment Lee crossed the Potomac, Stuart covered his positions and his movements with impenetrable secrecy, so far as McClellan was concerned, and he concealed Lee's movements so perfectly that McClellan reported that, on September 10th, ‘he received from his scouts information which rendered it quite probable that General Lee's army was in the vicinity of Frederick, but whether his intention was to move toward Baltimore or Pennsylvania was not then known.’ Lee's whole army had, infact, been for five days encamped around Frederick, and was then in full march up the National road. If it had not been for a piece of extraordinary negligence, McClellan never would have divined Lee's purposes until after Harpers Ferry had been taken, and with his army well in hand, reinforced, refreshed and rested, Lee would have delivered battle on his own conditions, with time and place of his own selection. No one, Union or Confederate, doubts what the issue of such a struggle would have been. The army of McClellan would have been routed, Baltimore and Washington opened to the Confederates, and then—what? Th's misfortune to the cause of the Confederacy will be described hereafter. On September 11th, Lee having his army well-disposed beyond the South Mountain, and the two ranges of Catoctin and South
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.