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On the morning of June 25,1863 one of the supreme endeavors of the South to win its independence took place along the Potomac River at Williamsport, Maryland. General Robert E. Lee, Commander of the Army of Northern Virginia and Lt. General James Longstreet, Commander of the First Corps led their men out of Virginia and into Maryland. This was the culmination of General Lee's strategy to advance into Union territory.

General Lee's reasoning was that this advance would solve his supply problems, enabling his army to subsist at the enemy's expense. Also it would force the Union army presently in Virginia to follow him, and finally it would have a great impact on public opinion in the Northern States by encouraging the Peace Movement.

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