FROM VICKSBURG AND GETTYSBURG TO CHICKAMAUGA
Lee's army again headed toward Washington -- He decides not to cross the Potomac at the opening of winter -- Meade's counter- attack -- Capture of a redoubt on the Rappahannock -- A criticism of Secretary Stanton -- General Bragg's strategy -- How Rosecrans compelled the evacuation of Chattanooga.
IN the autumn of 1863 both Lee's and Meade's armies had returned from Pennsylvania and were again camping or tramping on the soil of Virginia. The Union forces were in complete and easy communication with the great storehouses and granaries of the North and West. The Confederates were already in a struggle for meagre subsistence. Meade began another march on Richmond. Lee patched up his army as best he could, threw it across Meade's path, and halted him at the Rapidan. Thenceforward for weeks and months, these two commanders were watching each other from opposite sides of the Rapidan, moving up and down the river and the roads, seeking an opportunity for a blow and never finding it. Lee made the first move. On October 9, 1863, he headed his army again toward Washington and the Potomac, passing Meade's right, and threatening to throw the Confederates between the Union forces and the national capital. Lee at one time was nearer to Washington than Meade, but as there was no longer any green corn in the fields for the Southern soldiers to subsist upon, the difficulty of feeding them checked Lee's march