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[537] soldiers, reminding them, on one hand, of the restraints which their military duties imposed upon political discussions, and referring, on the other hand, to the ballot-box, through which, at the next election, they could ratify the errors of their government. Mr. Lincoln felt extremely hurt on finding himself thus put directly upon trial by one of his generals, in an official military document. At the South the proclamation of the President was received as a new challenge, and the very dangers which it had in store for them in the future increased, for a time, the energy of the Confederate States.

Instead of bringing back his army into the interior in order to protect Richmond, Lee boldly placed himself in the angle formed by the Potomac and the Shenandoah, continuing to menace Maryland with an offensive return. The rich valley of Virginia, whence his soldiers could perceive the heights of Sharpsburg and the hills of Harper's Ferry, the scenes of their exploits, promised him resources which he would have failed to obtain elsewhere. This land of wheat and forage had not been ravaged during the summer, and could supply his men and horses with abundance of food. His army, encamped on the borders of the Opequan, among the splendid farms lying between Winchester, Martinsburg and Charlestown, found the repose it had so well deserved. It received numerous reinforcements of recruits raised by the iron hand of the Confederate government. It was able, above all, to rally that second army of which we have heretofore spoken—that army of stragglers, sick and lame, which amounted to more than thirty thousand men when Lee had crossed the Potomac three weeks before, and which, being stopped by the river, had proceeded gloomily in long columns in the direction of the passes of the Blue Ridge. Owing to the active sympathy of the inhabitants for the cause of the South, all who had really been unable to follow the rapid march of Lee were protected, fed, and often even equipped, whilst the voluntary stragglers—and their number was enormous, according to the statements of Confederate officers themselves—were obliged, willingly or otherwise, on finding themselves strictly watched, to rejoin their comrades. The army, therefore, which did not number forty thousand men when it recrossed the Potomac on the night of September 18th or 19th, found, a

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