plan of passing to the Potomac not around Hooker's rear, through Fairfax, but through the middle of Hooker's army, cutting it in two and destroying his transportation, he would have delayed the movement in the Valley, as there was no necessity for it that day. A. P. Hill was at Charlestown, about nine miles from Shepherdstown; he should have stood still to give Stuart time to cross the river.
Stuart would then have been so far ahead that Pleasanton's cavalry could never have overtaken him. From the day General Lee crossed the Rappahannock Hooker had always moved so as to keep in touch with Lee, and between Lee and Washington.
It could not be expected that after the whole Southern Army had crossed the Potomac, Hooker would halt in Virginia and uncover Washington.
Hooker's Prompt Movement.
On the 24th A. P. Hill's corps moved from Charlestown to the Potomac, in bight of the signal station on Maryland Heights. The news was telegraphed to Hooker, and he set his army in motion for the Potomac the next day. Stuart found Hooker's army marching on the roads which he had expected to travel, hence he had to change his route and make a detour through Fairfax around Hooker's rear. Instead of crossing the river on the evening of the 25th, he did not get over until the night of the 27th. Pleasanton's Cavalry Corps had been kept behind as the rear guard of the army, and crossed the Potomac some miles above on the same night. It was kept behind and neutralized by Stuart being in their rear, and gave no trouble to General Lee.
Colonel Talcott quotes from my book what is said about the premature movements in the Shenandoah Valley, making the Gettysburg campaign the Iliad of the South, and claims that this is an admission that the disaster was clue to the absence of the cavalry.
His conclusions are illogical — a non sequitur — no such meaning can be given to any language. No matter where Stuart crossed the Potomac — east or west of the Ridge — he would not have been with General Lee or anywhere near Gettysburg, but away off on the Susquehanna. I never said it was the cause of