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Fitzhugh Lee, General Lee, Chapter 7: Atlantic coast defenses.-assigned to duty in Richmond as commander in chief under the direction of the Southern President. (search)
icult to conceive why, with these immense odds in his favor, McClellan did not advance in the early spring against Johnston's position. This plan was discussed as well as two or three others. McClellan at last, it seems, told the Federal President in positive language that he did not approve the movement on Johnston's position at Centreville, but preferred to take his army down the Potomac River into Chesapeake Bay, up the Rappahannock River, and form a base of operations at a place called Urbana; or, better still, continue down Chesapeake Bay and around to Fort Monroe, using that formidable fort as a base, and advance on Richmond from that direction up the Peninsula formed by the James and York Rivers, upon whose surfaces the gunboats of his navy could be floated, and thus a thorough protection be given to his flanks. A solemn conclave of twelve general officers of the Federal army considered these various propositions, and, by a vote of eight to four, agreed to approve McClellan's
Fitzhugh Lee, General Lee, Chapter 9: Second battle of Manassas. (search)
id McClellan, and urged it more than once. Halleck, the strategist of the Federal administration, differed from both Generals Lee and McClellan. Harper's Ferry was in his opinion the key to the upper door of the Federal capital, and should be held till the wings of the Peace Angel were spread over the republic. General Lee promptly planned to show that McClellan was right and Halleck wrong, though it involved a change of his original designs. His cavalry, under the vigilant Stuart, was at Urbana and Hyattstown, and well advanced on the road from Frederick to Washington, and every mile of McClellan's march was duly recorded and reported. The progress of this officer was so slow, his movements so cautious, that Lee determined to detach sufficient troops from his army to capture Harper's Ferry and Martinsburg, and bring them back in time to present a united front to McClellan. Daring, skill, celerity, and confidence were the qualifications of an officer to execute the movement. In J