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 Posted: Sat Oct 31st, 2009 04:47 pm
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ole
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All good stuff! Although I think Lee had been alerted to some surprisingly rapid movements (maybe not the Lost Orders, but certainly unexpectedly rapid movements) so he sent off to concentrate on the hills north and east of Sharpsburg.

But I think most are in agreement that Lee wasn't going to march that far to just turn tail and re-cross the Potomac. It would have been the prudent thing to do, but how would that look in terms of public morale? In terms of his and McClellan's soldiers' morale? His soldiers would have been chagrined at losing without a fight. McClellan's soldiers would have broken the losing streak they'd developed over the year.

Political considerations alone were enough to demand a test of strength. Then, there is that his personal pride prohibited retreat.

Ole

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