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|No doubt about it, Lee was a risk taker. Placing a large river to the back of your army was a huge gamble and apparently Lee was not afraid to do just that. I suspect that at this stage of the war, Lee knew that he had to win a great battle in order for the South to have a chance to win the war. A retreat across the Potomac was not in the best interests of the South. Also, it was not often you could get lethargic McClellen to engage in battle. That fact alone probably enticed Lee to remain in Sharpsburg.