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Retreat from GettysburgLee, Logistics, and the Pennsylvania Campaign$
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Kent Masterson Brown, Esq.

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780807829219

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: July 2014

DOI: 10.5149/9780807869420_brown

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An awful time crossing South Mountain

An awful time crossing South Mountain

(p.163) Seven An awful time crossing South Mountain
Retreat from Gettysburg

Kent Masterson Brown

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter examines the troubles encountered by General Robert E. Lee and his Army of Northern Virginia as they made their retreat to Virginia during the Battle of Gettysburg in July 1863, at the height of the Civil War. As Lee was in the process of withdrawing his troops from Gettysburg, General George Gordon Meade of the Union Army of the Potomac was preparing his men to pursue Lee down the eastern side of the South Mountain range. The plan was to harass Lee's army around Chambersburg and reoccupy Maryland Heights. To mount a vigorous pursuit of Lee, Meade would have to overcome major obstacles, however. Meanwhile, Lee and his troops continued to move, some of them reaching Williamsport and the rising Potomac River. After getting stranded along the turnpike for almost forty miles, the wagons finally moved, albeit at an exasperating slow pace. Lee also had to endure desertions within the ranks due to darkness, heavy rain, and confusion.

Keywords:   retreat, Robert E. Lee, Northern Virginia, Battle of Gettysburg, George Gordon Meade, Union Army, South Mountain range, Williamsport, Potomac River, wagons

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