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Chapter 18: Lee's invasion of Maryland, and his retreat toward Richmond.

Only thirty days had passed by since Lee was in the attitude of a defender of the Confederate capital, with two large armies threatening it from different points, when he was seen in the position of an exultant victor, ready to take the offensive in a bold menace of the National capital. He sent troops to check Pope, and the effect was the withdrawal of the Army of the Potomac from the Peninsula. Relieved of all danger in the latter direction, he moved in heavy force and pushed the Army of Virginia across the Rappahannock before the other great army lent it any aid; and now, at the beginning of September, he saw both armies which had threatened him, shattered and disordered behind the strong fortifications of the National capital, where McClellan concentrated them to defend that capital from an expected assault. From Fortress Monroe to the head waters of the James and the Rappahannock, and far up the Potomac and the intervening country, as well as the whole valley of the Shenandoah to its northern entrance at Harper's Ferry, there were no National troops, and the harvests in all that region were poured into the Confederate granary.

The Republic now seemed to be in great peril, and the loyal people were very anxious. Long before the disastrous termination of the campaign on the Peninsula, thoughtful men were losing faith in the ability, and some in the patriotism of the commander of the Army of the Potomac; and it was. clearly seen that if one hundred and fifty thousand to two hundred thousand men could not make more headway in the work of crushing the rebellion than they had done under his leadership during full ten months, more men must be called to the field at once, or all would be lost. Accordingly the loyal Governors of eighteen States signed a request that the President should immediately take measures for largely increasing the effective force in the field. He had already, by a call on the 1st of June, drawn forty thousand men, for three months, from Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New York, Pennsylvania, and Ohio. In compliance with a request of the governors, he called for three hundred thousand volunteers “for the war,” on the 1st of July; and on the 9th of August, when Pope was struggling with Jackson near the Rapid Anna, he called for three hundred thousand men for nine months, with the understanding that an equal number of men would be drafted from the great body of the citizens who were over eighteen and less. than forty-five years of age, if they did not appear as volunteers. [465]

These calls met with a hearty response, and very soon men were seen flocking to the standard of the Republic by thousands. The Conspirators at Richmond well knew that such a response would be made, and while they were wickedly deceiving the people of the Confederacy with the idea that “the Lincoln government,” as they said in derision, was bankrupt in men and money, they were trembling with fear because of its wealth in both, which they well comprehended. Therefore they instructed Lee to take immediate advantage of the fortunate situation in which McClellan's failure to sustain Pope had placed him, to act boldly, vigorously, and even desperately, if necessary.

Lee saw clearly that an assault on the fortified National capital would be foolish and disastrous, and he conceived the idea of throwing his army across. the Potomac to the rear of Washington, when, perhaps, after sweeping victoriously on to the Susquehanna, he might return and seize Baltimore and the National city. He believed the people of “sovereign” Maryland were chafing under the domination of the Government, and were ready to give all the support in their power to the Confederate cause; and that the presence of his army would produce a general uprising in that State. The conspirators at Richmond were in accord with Lee in this view, and he made instant preparations for throwing his army across the Potomac.

Lee was joined on the 2d

Sept. 1862.
by the fresh division of D. H. Hill, from Richmond, and this was immediately sent as a vanguard toward Leesburg. The whole Confederate army followed, and between the 4th and 7th it had crossed the Potomac by the fords in the vicinity of the Point of Rocks, and encamped not far from the city of Frederick, on the Monocacy River. There General Lee formally raised the standard of revolt, and issued a proclamation
Sept. 8.
in words intended to be as seductive to the people of that commonwealth as those of Randall's impassioned appeal, entitled “Maryland! My Maryland!” 1 Lee declared it was the wish “of the people of the South” to aid those of Maryland in throwing off the “foreign yoke” they were compelled to bear, that they might be able to “again enjoy the inalienable rights of freemen, and to restore the independence and sovereignty of their State ;” and he assured them that his mission was to assist them with the power of arms “in regaining their rights,” of which .they had “been so unjustly despoiled.”

Lee discoursed as fluently and falsely of the “outrages” inflicted by the generous Government which he had solemnly sworn to protect, and against which he was waging war for the perpetuation of injustice and inhumanity,2 [466] as did

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