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Lee had hoped that McClellan would cross the Potomac and offer battle in the lower Shenandoah, but this overcautious commander was unwilling to try a third issue with the bold Confederate leader.
STUART GOT THE HORSES.
In order to engage McClellan's attention and gather a supply of fresh horses from the farmers of Pennsylvania, on the loth of Octo- ber Lee dispatched the gallant and raid-loving Stuart, with 1,800 horsemen, across the Potomac into Pennsylvania, and by noon of the 1 2th of October he again recrossed the Potomac, not only with a fresh supply of much-needed horses, but with full information as to McClellan's movements. This bold and daring ride so irritated and excited the Federal Government that it peremptorily ordered McClellan to choose a line of attack and move against Lee in Vir- ginia. This meant the second cry, " On to Richmond! "
The experiences of the Federal forces in the great Valley, both in Virginia and Maryland, did not give them confidence to undertake a new campaign in that already famous region, and McClellan deter- mined to draw Lee from the Valley by crossing to the east of the Blue Ridge and then following along its eastern foot. Crossing the Potomac on October 23d, McClellan successfully occupied, with de- tachments, the gaps of the Blue Ridge, and made demonstrations towards the Shenandoah, thus guarding his flanks as his army marched southward.
GENERAL LEE'S PLANS.
Lee at once comprehended this plan, and immediately sent Long- street with the First corps to check the front of McClellan's advance. Jackson, with the Second corps of the Army of Northern Virginia, was left in the Shenandoah Valley to remain so long as he thought prudent. With his usual boldness, Lee did not hesitate to post the two wings of his army sixty miles apart in a straight line.
McClellan now occupied Pope's former position behind the Rappa- hannock, with fully 125,000 men 100,000 men holding the defences of Washington and 25,000 watching the Shenandoah in the vicinity of Harper's Ferry. Lee had less than 75,000 in the two corps of the Army of Northern Virginia and in his cavalry corps under Stuart, and, with this disparity of numbers, he was again to meet the great Army of the Potomac.