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June 16, 1863: Lee crosses Potomac, Pennsylvania in panic

Jun. 16, 2013 - 09:41AM   |  
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HARRISBURG, Pa. — The capital of Pennsylvania is in panic today amid reports that Confederate troops are crossing the Potomac River.

Harrisburg residents are packing into trains and wagons, loaded down with luggage and whatever cherished items they can carry. Government officials in the capital are also preparing to evacuate.

Governor Andrew Curtin has ordered local militia units to defend Pennsylvania's border from “the Rebel Invader.”

Gen. Robert E. Lee’s of Army of Northern Virginia will have to get through Maryland first.

Fresh from their victory in Winchester, Va., Lee’s lead units — including a brigade of cavalry — began crossing the Potomac near Hagerstown yesterday afternoon, now followed by major units from at least one of his three corps.

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