the command to devolve upon General G. W. Smith
until June 2d, when President Davis
assigned General Lee
to the command of the Army of Northern Virginia.
felt that if McClellan
could not be driven out of his entrenchments, there was danger that he would move by successive positions, under cover of his heavy guns, to within shelling distance of Richmond
; and to prevent this contingency, Jackson
was to fall on the Federal
right flank to help drive McClellan
from his position.
The movement was so skilfully made that the Federal
commanders in the Valley
and the authorities in Washington
were completely deceived, and the Union
army now found itself on the defensive, and the history of the Peninsula
campaign records the retreat of McClellan
instead of a close investment of Richmond
During these operations, the field-works thrown up by the Confederate army constituted the principal auxiliary defenses, but as these were not in positions proper for the immediate defense of the city, they were of no particular value after the removal of the forces to other positions.
As soon as the army could recover from the strain of the ordeal through which it had passed, Lee
turned his attention to the fortifications immediately surrounding the capital.
On July 13th, he directed the Engineer Corps to prepare a system of defenses from Drewry's Bluff
encircling the approaches to Manchester
from the south, and, on the 31st, he directed that the construction of the outside lines north of the James
At the same time, more guns were ordered to be placed on the Drewry's Bluff
defenses, as well as on the other works along the south side of the James
The works of Petersburg
were strengthened also.
started for the Rapidan
to enter on the campaign against Pope
, all the troops of the Army of Northern Virginia were withdrawn from the fortifications of Richmond
, and relieved from garrison duty and from the work of construction by the troops of General D. H. Hill