CONVERGING ON GETTYSBURG
By June 28, two of Lee’s corps were at Chambersburg; Jubal Early with one division of Ewell’s corps was at York, and the rest was near Harrisburg. Stuart was somewhere in Maryland. The absence of Stuart and his cavalry to be his “eyes and ears,” deprived General Lee of movements and positions of the Union army. Lee constantly asked his officers “Can you tell me where General Stuart is?” or “Where on earth is my cavalry?” Meanwhile, Stuart and the cavalry was attempting to rejoin Lee’s army, and he encountered upon a train of Federal wagons at Rockville. During his pursuit of the Federal wagons, Stuart came extremely close to Washington and caused great alarm to the city. In the end, Stuart captured 125 wagons loaded with sugar, bacon, hams, hardtack, and bottled whiskey. With the wagons which slowed down his pace, Stuart continued his movement north.
Lee’s intelligence information came from a spy named Harrison. The spy brought news that the Union army had already crossed the Potomac and was at Frederick, and Meade was the new commander. Lee thought the Army of the Potomac was still in Virginia and was shocked at how close the enemy was. Immediately, Lee ordered his army to concentrate around Cashtown, 9 miles west of Gettysburg.
Confederate General Heth didn’t believe there was a large number of Union forces in the area, and Union Colonel Devlin didn’t believe there was a large number of Confederate forces in the area. But Buford said “They will attack you in the morning and they will come booming-skirmishers three deep. You will have to fight like the devil until support arrives.” Despite Lee’s orders not to bring on a battle until the entire army was united, Heth wanted to enter Gettysburg. So he went to A.P. Hill for permission.
Heth said “If there is no objection, I will take my division tomorrow and go to Gettysburg and get those shoes.”
“None at all,” A.P. Hill replied.
On the night of June 30, the Confederate army was concentrated around Gettysburg, while General Meade and the artillery reserve was at Taneytown, the First Corps at Marsh Run, the Second at Uniontown, Third at Bridgeport, Fifth at Union Mills, Sixth at Manchester, Eleventh at Emmitsburg, Twelfth at Littlestown, and Kilpatrick’s cavalry at Hanover.
Union Intelligence Report
Captured Confederate Message
That night, Meade ordered the First Corps to Gettysburg, the Eleventh to supporting distance of the First, and the Twelfth to Two Taverns, five miles southeast of Gettysburg.