104 Southern Historical Society Papers.
he had struck. He, therefore, (after, it would seem, being satisfied by General Longstreet that his army might live on green corn!) crossed into Maryland for the purpose of drawing the Federal army away from Washington in order to defend the North from invasion. His movement was immediately successful. McClellan, without waiting to reorganize his disjointed forces, set forth from Washington towards Frederick city, that he might cover Baltimore as well as the Federal capital. His movements were necessarily slow, and this slowness was increased by his cautious temperament and the panic fears of the National Administration, which, but a few days before, had looked upon the fall of the capital as certain. McClellan crept slowly up the Potomac, carrying on his work of reorganization as he went, stretching his army from the Potomac to the Patapsco, so as to cover the great cities upon those rivers. His force was large, from 80,000 to 90,000 effective men, but his army was not in good condition. One part of it had but recently returned from the unsuc- cessful Peninsula campaign, another part under Pope had been dread- fully beaten at Manassas. Gaps had been filled by new troops not yet inured to service. With his usual tendency to exaggerate the strength of his foes, McClellan believed that the veteran and vic- torious army in his front was at least equal in strength to his own. Add to these considerations the fact that General Halleck, the Fede- ral commander-in-chief, had not recovered from the nightmare I induced by Pope's disasters, and seemed possessed of but one idea, which was, that Lee's object was to draw off the Federal army from Washington, and then suddenly cross to the Virginia side of the Potomac and attack that city. Halleck was therefore constantly warning McClellan against such a movement. Halleck says on the 9th : " We must be very cautious about stripping too much the forts on the Washington side. It may be the enemy's object to draw off the mass of our forces, and then attempt to attack from the Virginia side of the Potomac." On the 12th President Lincoln telegraphs : " I have advices that Jackson is crossing the Potomac at Williams- port, and probably the whole Rebel army will be drawn from Mary- land." On the 13th Halleck says : " Until you know more certainly the enemy's forces south of the Potomac you are wrong in thus uncovering the capital. I am of the opinion that the enemy will send a small column towards Pennsylvania and draw your forces in that direction, then suddenly move on Washington with the forces south of the Potomac, and those he might crossover." This was the very day on which McClellan obtained the lost dispatch. On