waiting the first drying suns of March, to move his gigantic army forward to that triumph, for which he had been so assiduously preparing them for eight months; and General Johnston was watching for the same juncture, to retire to a more interior line of defence.
The goal of the Federal advance was, of course, to be Richmond; and to its capture, every movement was to converge.
General McClellan was to drive back the left wing of the Confederate army at Winchester, by — the forces under Shields and Banks, to insulate and overpower the right wing resting on the Potomac at Evansport, and to surround and crush General Johnston at Manassas, or else to force him toward Richmond, and pursue him. The army on the Peninsula, setting out from Fortress Monroe, was to press back General Magruder, and assail the capital from the East.
The forces in the Valley, having beaten General Jackson, were either to converge towards the rear of Manassa's Junction, by crossing the Blue Ridge, or else to