Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 23.djvu/229
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higher than usual. Hampton's Hrigade crossed early in the night. hut report.-d to me that it would be utterly impossible to cTMi the artillery at that lord. In this the residents were also very positive that vehicles could not cross. A ford lower down was examined. and found quite as impracticable, from quicksand, rocks, and rutted banks. I determined, however, not to give it up without trial, and before 12 o'clock that night, in spite of the difficulties, to all appear- ances insuperable, indomitable energy and resolute determination triumphed. Every piece was brought safely over, and the entire command bivouacked on Maryland soil."
DIFFICULT TO OCCUPY.
I shall not quote further from the report of General Stuart what I have read already, showing that he crossed the Potomac east of the army of < ieneral Hooker, so as to render it extremely difficult, if not impossible, for him to comply with the repeated injunctions he had received from General Lee to place himself on Swell's right as soon as he entered Maryland. The report states that General Stuart, on reaching the Maryland side, ascertained that (ieneral Hooker had already crossed the Potomac, and that on the day before ( June 27th) his army was at Poolesville, moving towards Fredericktown.
General Stuart appears to have thought that his movement was intended to threaten Washington. He lost much valuable time in pursuing and capturing trains coming from that city to General Hooker's army, but as he moved northward the Federal army was also moving northward on his left, and separating him from the right of the Confederate army, where it was all important that the cavalry should be.
The report says, speaking of the capture of a large train coming from Washington: "The capture and securing of this train had for the time scattered the leading brigade. I calculated that before the next brigade could march this distance and reach the defences of Washington it would be after dark. The troops there would have had time to march to positions to meet attack on this road. To attack at night with cavalry, particularly unless certain of surprise, would have been extremely hazardous. To wait until morning would have lost much time from my march to join (ieneral Lee, without the probability of compensating results. I therefore determined, after getting the wagons under way, to proceed directly north so as to cut the Baltimore and Ohio railroad (now becoming the enemy's