nearer the water — a harder country, easier communications.
To move immediately south of Richmond
by water and from there cut its supporting railroads was well enough, provided Lee
would keep himself inside Richmond
's fortifications while this was going on. But it was unlikely he would do now what he had never done before.
On the contrary, he could be expected so to enlarge his circumference of protection that to envelop him would spread the army out too thin, and bare its extended flanks to disadvantageous attack while fighting for possession of the radiating railroads.
Moreover, since Lee
had to be bitterly encountered somewhere, it was better to meet him further from his home and nearer our own supplies.
This, too, for a while screened Washington
moved by the left flank May 3, choosing a midnight start.
saw him before he could get beyond the unpropitious