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Chapter 10: operations on the Rappahannock.

The presence of General Jackson in the vicinity of Gordonsville, again bewildered the minds and excited anew the fears of the Washington authorities. The spectre of “overwhelming numbers” at Richmond and of a speedy advance on the Federal Capital now assumed a fearful shape, and McClellan was ordered to remove his army from Harrison's Landing to Aquia Creek as rapidly as possible, for the purpose of uniting with Pope, and interposing for the defence of Washington-Burnside, with 13,000 men from the North Carolina coast on his way to join McClellan on James River, having been previously diverted from that point to Fredericksburg on the Rappahannock.1

1 The following correspondence taken from McClellan's report is interesting, as it exhibits the bewilderment of the Federal authorities and the hallucination under which McClellan himself continued to labor in regard to the strength of General Lee's forces:

Washington, July 30, 1862, 8 P. M.
Major General G. B. Mcclellan:
A dispatch just received from General Pope, says that deserters report that the enemy is moving south of James River, and that the force in Richmond is very small. I suggest that he be pressed in that direction, so as to ascertain the facts of the case.

H. W. Halleck, Major General.

Washington, July 31, 1862, 10 A. M.
Major General G. B. McClellan:
General Pope again telegraphs that the enemy is reported to be evacuating Richmond, and falling back on Danville and Lynchburg.

H. W. Halleck, Major General.

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