This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
 Confederate leader. Baltimore, the great slave city, was only kept under Federal jurisdiction by force. It had furnished almost alone all the volunteers who assumed to represent Maryland in the Confederate army. Its possession, in short, even though temporary, by intercepting all the railroads leading to Washington, would isolate this city, and perhaps even cause its capitulation. What an immense effect would have been produced on both sides of the Atlantic if Mr. Lincoln, his cabinet and Congress had found themselves besieged in their own capital and separated from the country they governed! But Lee resisted this temptation. As McClellan in Washington held the chord of the arc which the Confederates had to describe, he could forestall them at any point whatever between the lower Potomac and Baltimore. In marching upon this city, therefore, Lee would have given him an opportunity to take an advanced position and deliver a defensive battle. He preferred to enter the mountainous region of the country. By following this direction and ascending the Potomac, he moved away from the Federal army, without ceasing, however, to menace the Northern States; if he abandoned the idea of attempting an attack upon Baltimore, he drew near to Pennsylvania and Harrisburg, the capital of that State, to the great mining districts it possesses and its principal network of railways; he preserved easy communications by the valley of the Shenandoah, and was protected by the parallel ridges of the Alleghanies; he compelled his adversary to follow him, in short, and assume the offensive. If, attacked by the Federals, he should succeed in defeating them, he could drive them back under the walls of Washington; and the army of the Potomac once isolated from the Northern States, these States were open to invasion without adequate means of defence. Jackson, after giving his troops one day's rest, had left Ox Hill on the 3d of September. On the 5th he crossed the Potomac at White's Ford, not far from Leesburg. The Confederate soldiers, reduced to positive suffering by the campaign they had just passed through, hailed the soil of Maryland as a kind of promised land. On reaching the shore their bands struck up the national air of the country they thought they were going to deliver—Mary-
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.