Taking up the advance

On June 10, 1863, a Wednesday, the brigade’s division commander Gen. Lafayette McLaws wrote his wife Emily that he was unsure of the army’s destination, but the talk was of Pennsylvania:

“Our army has taken up the advance…Our destination is not known of course, but circumstances point to a movement towards the valley of the Shenandoah or towards Pennsylvania…If we are striking for Pennsylvania we are actuated by a desire to visit upon the enemy some of the horrors of war, to give the northern people some idea of the excesses committed by their troops upon our houses and inhabitants. On the other hand does it not seem natural to suppose that if we invade their country it will be the means of re-arousing the war spirit which is now apparently fast dying out…Thus it appears to many—and it causes much discussion.”

Indeed, John Beauchamp Jones, the Richmond war department clerk, wrote in his diary the next day: “The Northern Democratic papers are filled with the proceedings of indignation meetings, denouncing the Republican Administration and advocating peace.”

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About Dick Stanley

Retired Texas daily newspaperman
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