James Ford Rhodes (18481927). History of the Civil War, 18611865 1917.
procuring subsistence. Lee proposed to pay for his supplies, but all that he had to pay with was Confederate currency or certificates of indebtedness of the Confederate States, and these the farmers, millers and drovers would not take for their wheat, their flour and their cattle. The army which had defeated McClellan and Pope could not make the farmers thresh their wheat and the millers grind it, nor prevent the owners of cattle from driving them into Pennsylvania. The citizens of Frederick caring not for the custom offered them by the officers and soldiers, closed their shops.
Lee was hoping to place the Confederacy in a position to propose peace to the Northern government and people on the condition that the independence of the Southern States should be recognized: the rejection of the offer might help the Democratic party at the coming fall elections when a new House of Representatives was to be chosen and might even induce the people to declare for a termination of the conflict. He purposed to attack neither Washington nor Baltimore, but he probably aimed at Harrisburg and the destruction of the long bridge of the Pennsylvania railroad across the Susquehanna river, which, as communication by the Baltimore, and Ohio had been severed, would leave no land connection between the eastern and western States except the railroad line along the lakes. At the same time, by drawing the Union forces away from the capital, he might, if he defeated them, prevent them from falling back upon the intrenchments of Washington.
At no time during the war were Confederate prospects so bright. Kirby Smith had defeated a Union force in Kentucky, had occupied Lexington and was threatening Louisville and Cincinnati, having pushed a detachment of his army to within a few miles of Covington, one of the