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Fitzhugh Lee, General Lee, Chapter 2: birth.-career as officer of Engineers, United States army. (search)
aptured at the battle of San Jacinto, April 21, 1836. Texas was later an applicant for membership to the union of American States.
Her independence had been acknowledged by Great Britain, the United States, and other Powers; but Bustamente, who succeeded Santa Anna, repealed the treaty Mexico had with Texas and declared war. In the United States opinion was divided between annexation and war. President Van Buren, a citizen of New York, would not entertain annexation, while a successor-John Tyler, of Virginia-favored it. A treaty made to carry out the provisions of annexation was rejected by the Senate.
In 1844 it became a party question, and by the election of James K. Polk, of Tennessee, who was in favor of it, over Henry Clay, of Kentucky, whose adherents were opposed to it, the people of the United States practically decided in favor of annexation.
It was then natural and proper that the United States Government should look closely after the interests of her new possessions, an
relied, told him that the South Carolina regiments were the best armed and equipped, had negroes with them as servants, were in high spirits, and though the month was June, were freezing for a fight.
It was fully determined now that the Federal army should move against Manassas, and General McDowell was requested to submit a plan of operations and an estimate of the force necessary to carry it out. He did so, and the plan was approved by General Scott, the Cabinet, and Generals Sanford, Tyler, Mansfield, and Meigs, who were present.
It was then given to the engineer officers to discuss, and finally was fully adopted.
The Federal army was to move out from the vicinity of Washington and Alexandria in four columns and give battle to the enemy by turning their right flank.
McDowell exacted two conditions: One that he should be provided with thirty thousand troops; the other that he should not be required to fight any of the Confederate forces then opposed to General Patterson in t
onfederate Generals Floyd and Wise, and was not with the force in General Lee's front.
He and Lee commanded the whole department on their respective sides.
The army whose movements General Lee was about to superintend in person consisted, as stated, of about six thousand men, including a few companies of cavalry, as well as a fine battalion of the same arm under General Lee's son, Major W. H. F. Lee.
Reynolds's force was estimated at about ten thousand.
After Floyd's clever defeat of Tyler at Cross Lane, on the 26th of August, he and General Wise seem to have kept on different sides of the Gauley River, and there did not seem to be that concert of action between them necessary to win success.
General Rosecrans, an able and sagacious officer, was not slow to recognize the detached positions of these commands, and determined to re-enforce Cox and attempt the defeat of one or both of them.
He advanced rapidly and assaulted Floyd's position, but was repulsed.
Floyd then crossed
Hooker, having at last found that General Lee had left, determined to move too, and issued orders on the 13th for four corps to rendezvous at Manassas Junction.
At five o'clock next afternoon Hooker was at Dumfries, some twenty miles north of Fredericksburg, on the road to Washington, and Mr. Lincoln asked him by telegraph if he thought it possible that fifteen thousand of Ewell's men can now be at Winchester?
and later tells him that the enemy have Milroy surrounded at Winchester, and Tyler at Martinsburg, and asks him if he could help them if they could hold out a few days, and then with habitual humor said: If the head of Lee's army is at Martinsburg, and the tail of it on the plank road between Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville, the animal must be very slim somewhere.
Could you not break him?
There was nothing now for the Union commander to do except to keep interposed between his enemy and Washington, and Hooker therefore concentrated his troops along the Orange and A