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[45] by a speedy retreat before the latter had time to concentrate a superior force and crush him in the hazardous position he had just taken. In fact, Mr. Lincoln, while fervently addressing an eloquent appeal to the Northern States for the protection of the capital, which he thought in danger, had at the same time conceived the idea of ‘catching Jackson in a trap,’ to use his own words, by shutting him up in the valley of Virginia. He personally directed by telegraph the movements of every division which was to co-operate in carrying out this chimerical project. His plan was to make three independent corps converge upon a point situated in the enemy's country, from which they were all three far more remote than the adversary whom it was intended to forestall.

Fremont was ordered to march from west to east, from Moorefield, where his quarters now were, to Strasburg; Banks to follow close upon the tracks of Jackson; Shields, who had only joined McDowell at Fredericksburg two days before, to retrace his steps from east to west, to join hands with Fremont at Front Royal, and thus cut off Jackson's retreat. In vain did McDowell protest against this order, the fatal consequences of which he foresaw; in vain did he allege that his soldiers would reach the valley too late to overtake Jackson, and that the surest way to protect Washington against the dangers which seemed to menace the latter city was to press the enemy in front of Richmond. The fatal order was adhered to, and all the campaign plans agreed upon a few days before were upset.

Mr. Lincoln had visited McDowell at Fredericksburg on the 24th of May, when it was decided that this general should march upon Richmond. He was to start with his army corps, more than forty thousand strong, with one hundred pieces of artillery; and it may be asserted without exaggeration that his junction with McClellan would have proved the decisive blow of the campaign. The fate of Richmond trembled in the balance; Jackson's column, thrown at a lucky moment into the plateau, saved the Confederate capital. On the 25th, Shields' division, instead of moving forward, turned its back upon the real objective of the campaign, and regaining the valley road started on one of those fruitless expeditions which American soldiers call in trapper language

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