This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
 of the 22d, all doubts on the subject disappeared, and he made all his arrangements accordingly. He determined not to defend the crossing of the Rappahannock; but carrying out the tactical principles he had developed before the committee of Congress, he was willing to allow the enemy to proceed as far as Warrenton, in order to fall upon his flank before his whole army could cross the river. During the day he brought back the greatest portion of his troops to the rear of his right wing on the side of Fayetteville, abandoning Kelly's Ford and leaving only a few troops to guard the other crossings. At the same time he designated Fayetteville as the rallying-point for all the reinforcements he expected from Aquia Creek; for he was ignorant that these reinforcements, long since promised, had not yet landed; General Halleck was as careful to conceal from him the movements of the army of the Potomac as he was to prevent McClellan from knowing those of the army of Virginia. Meanwhile, on the evening of the 22d, Pope changed his mind, and adopted a new plan entirely different from that which was in process of execution. Bringing back all his forces to the left on the lower Rappahannock, he determined to cross this river above and below Kelly's Ford, in hope of being able to take advantage of the isolated position of Longstreet to attack him, while Jackson was still occupied in crossing the upper Rappahannock. New orders were issued to all the corps commanders, and the expected reinforcements were directed to meet at Stevensburg, a point situated between the Rapidan and Rappahannock, in the very midst of the Confederate armies. But during the night of the 22d a terrible storm burst forth; the rain fell in torrents, and from daybreak the waters of the Rappahannock began to swell. They first struck Waterloo Bridge, and carried it away. Early, who had crossed it the day before, found himself alone on the enemy's bank in a dangerous position. The flood, which increased in its descent, soon reached the lower fords, in the vicinity of which the Federal troops were beginning to arrive, and which a few detachments had already crossed. Pope recalled them in hot haste to the left bank. It was high tine, for at seven o'clock in the morning the river had risen two metres, and presented a formidable obstacle. It was necessary to give new counter-orders, and the already exhausted soldiers were
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.
An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.