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|The 1864 Dahlgren Raid and difficulties in maintaining Union lines of communication, plus Gen. Butler's 1864 failures in Bermuda Hundred make it clear that there really was no chance of sustaining a successful Union assault on Richmond while Lee was north of the Potomac. From a purely logistical point of view there would have been no supply line for a June-July 1863 infantry advance toward Richmond. Meade's instructions in July 1863 were to shield Washington and bring Lee to battle. Ewell had already reached the Susquehanna, thereby cutting off Baltimore and points south. Lee did not have to capture Washington to attain his strategic objectives, but he did have to avoid expending his ordnance, depleting his forage supplies, compromising his commissary, and exhausting his troops. Had he been able to repel Meade's Gettysburg advance he would have accomplished these strategic objectives.