James Ford Rhodes (18481927). History of the Civil War, 18611865 1917.
would lose in efficiency for the offensive. Our resources in men are constantly diminishing, wrote Lee to Davis, and the disproportion in this respect between us and our enemies, if they continue united in their efforts to subjugate us, is steadily augmenting. Lees extraordinary industry and attention to detail included a constant and careful reading of Northern newspapers; from the mass of news, comment and speculation he drew many correct inferences and seldom lost sight of any of the conditions which were material to the Confederates conduct of the war. He meditated on the weariness of the contest so largely felt at the North and on the growing Democratic strength since Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville. We should neglect no honorable means of dividing and weakening our enemies, he wrote to Davis. We should give all the encouragement we can, consistently with the truth, to the rising peace party of the North.1
On June 3, Lee began to move his army from the vicinity of Fredericksburg, and one week later put Ewells corps in motion for the Shenandoah Valley. Ewell drove the Union troops from Winchester and Martinsburg, and on the 15th a portion of his corps crossed the Potomac, the remainder soon following. Hill and Longstreet moved forward and by June 26 their corps had passed over the river and were in Maryland.
When Lees northward movement became well defined, Hooker broke up his camps on the Rappahannock and marched to the Potomac, keeping to the east of the Blue Ridge and covering Washington constantly; in this manuvre he managed his army well. Ewell, waiting at Hagerstown,
Note 1. June 10, O. R., XXVII, Pt. III, 881. What follows shows that Lee favored no peace except on the condition of the acknowledgment of the independence of the Southern Confederacy. [back]