wide, there less than one.
The works had been constructed under the direction of engineers without experience in war or engineering.
They were then held by about thirty-five thousand men; but the Federal
army threatening them amounted to a hundred and thirty-three thousand.1
This army was provided with an artillery proportionally formidable, including a hundred Parrott
guns of the largest calibre, and at least thirty siege-mortars, besides a full proportion of field-batteries.
Before nightfall I was convinced that we could do no more on the Peninsula
than delay General McClellan
's progress toward Richmond
, and that, if he found our intrenchments too strong to be carried certainly and soon, he could pass around them by crossing York River
It seemed to me the more probable, however, that he would open York River
to his vessels by demolishing our water-batteries, and passing us by water, unless tempted, by discovering the weakness of our unfinished works between Yorktown
and the head of the inundations, to force his way through our line there.
For these reasons I thought it of great importance that a different plan of operations should be adopted without delay; and, leaving General Magruder
's headquarters at nightfall, I hastened back to Richmond
to suggest such a one, and arrived next morning early enough to see the President
in his office as soon as he entered it.
After describing to him Magruder
's position and the character of his defensive arrangements, I endeavored to show that, although they were the most judicious that that officer could have adopted when