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[79] take note of the powerful reinforcements which were being sent to Jackson, thus revealing to the enemy such important movements of troops. This was precisely what General Lee desired. On the 15th, Whiting left Lynchburg for Charlottesville, reaching Staunton on the 18th, where he landed his materiel, and seemed to be preparing to proceed down the valley to fall upon Fremont conjointly with Jackson; but on the 20th he speedily got on board the same cars which had brought him over, and returned to Charlottesville, where Jackson was awaiting him with the army that had fought at Cross Keys and Port Republic. By the movements of his cavalry, by his own words, and by means of letters written with the intention that they should fall into the hands of the Federals, he had confirmed all the fears which the movements of Whiting's division had excited in Washington. General McClellan had, in fact, notified the President on the 18th of the departure of these troops, and the intelligence received from Fredericksburg fully corroborated this information. On receipt of this news, General Fremont hastily fell back upon Strasburg, while McDowell, who had at last witnessed the return of Shields' division to his encampments, and who had already sent that of McCall to join McClellan by water, was waiting in vain for the order to set off on the three or four days march which separated him from the army of the Potomac. The desire to form a new army, which was to achieve easy successes under the personal direction of the Secretary of War, had decided the government to detain this general on the Rappahannock. The safety of Washington, which Jackson could not seriously menace, had only been, it must be acknowledged, a false pretext for conferring the command of an army, which absorbed all the reinforcements promised to McClellan, upon General Pope, an officer as brave as he was inexperienced, who had become the favorite of the hour. Mc-Dowell's corps was designed to swell its numbers uselessly, at the moment when every interest called it to the borders of the Chickahominy.

Meanwhile, a bold reconnaissance had revealed to General Lee the weak points of his adversary. On the morning of the 13th a brigade of cavalry, about one thousand two hundred strong, and accompanied by a few pieces of artillery, left Richmond

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