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[436] disparity of numbers did not seem to justify it. To check his retreat short of Richmond, orders were finally sent to him to halt; and the line of the Chickahominy was occupied. As soon as McClellan came up, however, he again broke up his camps, and fell back to Richmond, to whose small natural defensive advantages he added nothing by fortification, although he remained in front of the city several weeks.

4. When McClellan, emboldened by Johnston's want of enterprise, placed a division on his side of the Chickahominy, which a rain, sweeping away the bridges, put completely at his mercy, his dispositions were so faulty, and his knowledge of the country so imperfect, that the combat which followed was barely rendered successful as a feat of arms, and was barren of results, that should have been tangible and important. His wound in this battle having disabled him, it became necessary to intrust the command to another, who had the confidence of the army and people. General Lee was selected. When General Johnston recovered, it was deemed impolitic to remove General Lee at a time when his plans for future operations were maturing, the policy of which was in accordance with the views of the Government, and to substitute one whose plans would have to be matured, and whose dispositions might cause such delay as to seriously threaten the fair prospects of the army and country.

5. Although the President's confidence in General Johnston's ability was somewhat shaken by that officer's conduct, he determined to place him in command of the most important department of the Confederacy.

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J. E. Johnston (3)
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