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wly around by Middletown and the old Sharpsburg battlefield to Lee's position.
While he was moving around the horseshoe, General Lee, with a good start, had gone across from heel to heel, and, had it not been for high water, would have been in Virginia before the last of the Army of the Potomac left the battlefield of Gettysburg.
Meade telegraphed Halleck on the 6th that if he could get the Army of the Potomac in hand he would attack Lee if he had not crossed the river, but hoped if misfor placing his force in a position to move readily to oppose the enemy, should he proceed south, and to better protect Richmond, he made the Rapidan his defensive line.
While at Bunker Hill he wrote Mrs. Lee on July 15th: The army has returned to Virginia.
Its return is rather sooner than I had originally contemplated, but, having accomplished much of what I proposed on leaving the Rappahannock-namely, relieving the Valley of the presence of the enemy, and drawing his army north of the Potomac —