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[93] moved up by the south bank and crossed at Shepherdstown, he would have had no more miles to travel following Lee in reaching Gettysburg than he passed over in the route he took, and with the road free of obstacles, could have accomplished it in less time. But his choice of routes in the first instance, however unhappy it proved to be, cannot be said to have been a violation of his instructions. In his official report of the compaign, made on the 20th of August, 1863, he says, that after the affair at Aldie, ‘He began to look for some other point at which to aim an effective blow, and he submitted to the Commanding General, the plan of leaving a brigade in his front, and passing through some gap in the Bull Run Mountains, attain the enemy's rear, passing between his main body and Washington, and cross into Maryland, joining our army north of the Potomac. The Commanding General wrote me authorizing this move, if I deemed it practicable, and also what instructions should be given to the officer in command of the two brigades left in front of the enemy. He also notified me that one column should move via Gettysburg and the other via Carlisle, towards the Susquehanna, and directed me after crossing, to proceed with all dispatch to join the right (Early), of the army,’ &c. The report of which this is an extract, is written with unusual care, and apparently to meet some of the criticisms, which even at that time were levelled at Stuart. It was addressed to General Lee's Chief of Staff, and its accuracy does not appear to have been challenged by any endorsement on the report.

In the official reports of the campaign by General Lee, dated July 31st, 1863, and prior to the date of Stuart's, he says: * * *

General Stuart was left to guard the passes of the mountains and observe the movements of the enemy, whom he was instructed to harass and impede as much as possible, should he attempt to cross the Potomac. In that event General Stuart was directed to move into Maryland, crossing the Potomac east or west of the Blue Ridge, as in his judgment should be best, and take position on the right of our column, as it advanced,’ &c.

In a subsequent, more elaborate report on the 20th of January, 1864, substantially the same language is repeated, with this addition,


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