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[316] allowed McClellan to confine himself to a mere defence of the capital, but compelled him to undertake an offensive campaign, so as to protect Baltimore and to free Maryland. The plan of the invaders, however, was not sufficiently developed for him to feel at liberty to move far from Washington in pursuit of them, for they might yet by a rapid move recross the river and suddenly come down the right bank to make an unexpected return to the Federal capital. Such a manoeuvre was not very probable; but both Mr. Lincoln and General Halleck firmly believed that the invasion of Maryland was a mere feint of the enemy. They charged McClellan to protect the seat of government, and already reproached him with dangerous imprudence in having advanced his army a few kilometres to watch the enemy. This army, however, drawn up en echelon on the left bank of the Potomac, only followed the Confederates in the direction of the Monocacy at a long distance and by short marches; the latter, on their part, seemed less and less disposed to menace the capital of the Union. Finally, on the 7th of September, McClellan, convinced of the futility of the alarms which had hitherto held him back, no longer listened to these timid counsels; and definitely taking the field, he established his headquarters at Rockville, on the Frederick turnpike. The reorganization of the army was nearly completed. The army corps, reduced by the previous campaign to the proportions of divisions, or even simple brigades, had been strengthened by new regiments, which swelled the effective force of each to the figure of from twelve to twenty thousand men. Leaving in Washington all the regiments not yet brigaded with the corps of Siegel and Heintzelman, as well as a portion of those of Keyes and Porter, which had most need of re-formation, McClellan took with him five army corps. His forces were thus divided into two portions. Nearly seventy-two thousand men were left in the capital, half of whom at least were old soldiers. This number, which must appear enormous when we take into consideration the fact that the enemy was no longer menacing Washington, was a necessary concession to the anxieties of the government. The other part, the active army, was composed of the first corps, taken from McDowell and placed under Hooker; the second and sixth corps, still commanded by Sumner and Franklin respectively;

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