Gettysburg Part Two: Washington And Beyond

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Gettysburg Part Two: Washington And Beyond

For five days Jackson had looked on Washington spread before him with the Dome of the
Capitol in sight from his headquarters on the Georgetown Pike near 7th Street. Lee having
recovered sufficiently from his wounds had resumed command of the army but had been
summoned to Richmond by President Davis following overtures from ( Vice ) President
Johnson to discuss common grounds for a peaceful settlement to the War. Lincoln left the
Capital for Canada, reluctantly, following pressure from Cabinet to avoid possible capture
by the advancing Confederates who seemed unstoppable as the Union forces in and around
Washington disintegrated into a disorderly rabble. Following his heroic retreat from
Gettysburg Howard had been promoted to Lieutenant-General and assumed command of the
defenses of Washington superseding Major-General S.P.Heintzelman who had very little
combat experience. Howard had about 55,000 men but very little control and desertions were
whittling this force away hourly. The Federal army was totally demoralized and soldiers
were going home as if it was all over, sensing the end was near.Grant had, after
eventually capturing Vicksburg on the 4th July been ordered to evacuate and return control
to the Confederates under Pemberton. This would be accomplished by the 12th and an uneasy
peace would settle across the Western theatre as Lieutenant-General ( Old Pete) Longstreet
entrained to take command of all the South's western forces. Jackson chafed... aware that
the Union forces were a spent force and there for the taking, his spies reported that the
defenders had shrunk to 35,000 and if they waited for another couple of weeks Washington
would be a ghost town. France had broken with England and recognized the independence of
the Confederacy and England was expected to follow suit very soon.In Richmond McClellan
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