James Ford Rhodes (1848–1927). History of the Civil War, 1861–1865. 1917.
|Lincoln replied, I am “not disposed to throw away a gun because it missed fire once.” 1|| 1|
| After the Battle of Chancellorsville, Lee gave his troops a rest of some weeks. He employed this time in reorganization, dividing the army into three corps of three divisions each, commanded respectively by Longstreet, 2 Ewell and A. P. Hill. Believing that nothing was to be gained by his army “remaining quietly on the defensive,” he decided on the invasion of Pennsylvania. In any case this movement, by threatening Washington and drawing Hooker in pursuit of the invading force, would relieve Virginia of the presence of a hostile army. But after such victories as Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville, he would have been modest past belief had not his expectations gone far beyond so simple an achievement. He hoped to fight the Army of the Potomac on favorable conditions. With his own well-disciplined troops in high spirits and full of confidence in their leader, he could hardly have doubted that the result of such a battle would be other than a Confederate victory; he might even destroy the Union Army, in which case Washington would be at his mercy and he could conquer a peace on Northern soil. Nothing at this time so perturbed the Southern high councils as the operations of Grant against Vicksburg. More than one project was proposed to save it from capture, but no diversion in its favor could be so effectual as the taking of the Federal capital. If ever an aggressive movement with so high an object were to be made, now was the time. Not only was there the flush of Confederate success to be taken advantage of, but on the other hand the South by delay |
|Note 1. June 13, General Meade, I, 385. [back]|
|Note 2. After the battle of Chancellorsville, Longstreet with his detachment joined Lee. [back]|