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[568] for him the soubriquet of “Prince John.” Magruder had been unfortunate the day before; his guide had misdirected him and he got up. late and his attack was made at too late an hour to secure promised support. Yet he felt that his brave fellows, who had so long baffled McClellan at Yorktown, were capable of driving him from Malvern Hill, and he burned for the privilege of trying it again. Accordingly, about two o'clock in the morning, the day after the battle, he sought General Lee and said: “General, I came to submit a proposition to you. If you. will allow me to charge those heights at daybreak with my whole command, I pledge you my honor as a soldier to carry them at the point of the bayonet.”

General Lee replied with that quiet twinkle which always betokened something good: “I have no doubt that you could now do so, General; but I have one very serious objection to your making the attempt.” “What is that? What is that?” exclaimed Magruder, who hoped to remove the objection, and saw glory and honor in the present opportunity. “I am afraid,” replied General Lee, “that you might hurt my little friend Major Kidder Meade; our friends, the enemy, left some time ago, and he is over there reconnoitring.”

The testimony of all the army correspondents, of citizens along the route, and of the officers of the Army of the Potomac themselves, is that the retreat to Harrison's Landing was very precipitate, and that the army arrived there in a very demoralized condition.

Stuart got possession of the heights which completely commanded the camps at Westover, and which, if occupied and entrenched by infantry and artillery, would have compelled McClellen to surrender at discretion all of the men he could not hurriedly send off on transports. General Stuart's “Notes on the war,” on file in the archives of the Southern Historical Society, prove this. But it may be best to show it from Federal authority.

General McClellan wrote to the Adjutant-General, at Washington, on the night of the battle of Malvern Hill, as follows:

My men are completely exhausted, and I dread the result if we are attacked to-day by fresh troops. If possible, I shall retire to-night to Harrison's Bar, where the gunboats can render more aid in covering our position. Permit me to urge that not an hour should be lost in sending me fresh troops. More gunboats are much needed.

The “Committee on the conduct of the war” says in their report:

The retreat of the army from Malvern Hill to Harrison's Bar was very precipitate. The troops, upon their arrival there, were huddled

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R. E. Lee (3)
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George A. Magruder (2)
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