War of the Rebellion: Serial 044 Page 0708 N. C., VA., W. VA., MD., PA., ETC. Chapter XXXIX.

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This move of my command between the enemy's seat of government and the army charged with its defense involved serious loss to the enemy in men and material [over 1, 000 prisoners having been captured], and spread terror and consternation to the very gates of the capital. The streets were barricaded for defense, as also was done in Baltimore on the day following. This move drew the enemy's overweening force of cavalry, from its aggressive attitude toward our flank near Williamsport and Hagerstown, to the defense of its own communications, now at my mercy. The entire Sixth Army Corps, in addition, was sent to intercept me at Westminster, arriving there the morning I left, which in the result prevented its participation in the first two days' fight at Gettysburg. Our trains in transit were thus not only secured, but it was done in a way that at the same time seriously injured the enemy. General Meade also detached 4, 000 troops, under General French, to escort public property to Washington from Frederick, a step which certainly would have been unnecessary but for my presence in his rear, thus weakening his army to that extent. In fact, although in his own country, he had to make large detachments to protect his rear and baggage. General Meade also complains that his movements were delayed by the detention of his cavalry in his rear. He might truthfully have added, by the movement in his rear of a large force of Confederate cavalry, capturing his trains and cutting all his communications with Washington. It is not to be supposed such delay in his operations could have been so effectually caused by any other disposition of the cavalry. Moreover, considering York as the point of junction, as I had every reason to believe it would be, the route I took was quite as direct and more expeditious than the alternate one proposed, and there is reason to believe on that route that my command would have been divided up in the different gaps of South Mountain, covering our flank, while the enemy, by concentration upon any one, could have greatly endangered our baggage and ordnance trains without exposing his own. It was thought by many that my command could have rendered more service had it been in advance of the army the first day at Gettysburg, and the commanding general complains of a want of cavalry on the occasion; but it must be remembered that the cavalry [Jenkins' brigade] specially selected for advance guard to the army by the commanding general on account of its geographical location at the time, was available for this purpose, and had two batteries of horse artillery serving with it. If, therefore, the peculiar functions of cavalry with the army were not satisfactorily performed in the absence of my command, it should rather be attributed to the fact that Jenkins' brigade was not as efficient as it ought to have been, and as its numbers [3, 800] on leaving Virginia warranted us in expecting. Even at that time, by its reduction incident to campaign, it numbered far more than the cavalry which successfully covered Jackson's flank movement at Chancellorsville, turned back Stoneman from the James, and drove 3, 500 cavalry under Averell across the Rappahannock. Properly handled, such a command should have done everything requisite, and left nothing to detract by the remotest implication from the brilliant exploits of their comrades, achieved under circumstances of great hardship and danger. Arriving at York, I found that General Early had gone, and it is to be regretted that this officer failed to take any measures by leaving