Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 37.djvu/99

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Heview of the Gettysburg Campaign.

that in availing of it, he might be put completely out of touch with Ewell. Colonel John S. Mosby, in his book, "Stuart's Cavalry in the Gettysburg Campaign," makes himself largely responsible for Stuart's decision as to choice of routes. He says that after the affair at Middleburg, he penetrated the enemy's lines, and found the different army corps widely separated, no corps being nearer than ten miles to any other: That he reported their location to Stuart, and that it would be an easy matter for a column of cavalry to pass between them, and at the same time strike a damaging blow at the wagon trains with which all the roads were filled, and suggested to him to cross the Bull Run Mountains and pass through the middle of Hooker's army into Maryland. Mosby was a great favorite with Stuart, and had frequently supplied him with valuable information. No one knew the country so thoroughly as he did, and his opinions were entitled to great weight. He supported his suggestions with arguments that appealed to Stuart. He pointed out that the Bull Run Mountains could be passed in the morning, and the Potomac crossed early in the evening, and communication be severed between Pleasanton and Hooker, and that if the former's cavalry were sent in pursuit, it could never overtake them, and that the best way to preserve Lee's communications was to assail Hooker's, &c.

According to Colonel Mosby, Stuart told him that Lee was anxious to know if Hooker's army was moving to cross the Potomac, which he volunteered to find out. That he did so, and found no signs of movement. That Hooker seemed to be waiting for Lee; that this information was given to Stuart on the morning of the 24th, who was to forward it to Lee. Stuart and Mosby then arranged that the latter should again cross the Bull Run Mountains, and meet Stuart the next day at a designated point, where Mosby would guide the advance as it moved on through Hooker's army to Seneca Ford.

The idea, no matter by whom suggested, of passing through Hooker's army or by his rear, and interposing between him and Washington, doubtless possessed great fascination for Stuart. It suited his daring spirit and love of adventure. The prize held out in the way of spoils had its attractions, for if the cav-