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[201] was not until the Federal pickets north of the Chickahominy were driven in next day that the Federal Commander had any certain information of the approach of his swift-footed assailant.

Lee was now ready to deliver battle. His strength, including Jackson, was from 80,000 to 81,000 men. (See the careful computations of General Early, Southern Historical papers, vol. I, p. 421, and of Colonel Taylor, Four Years with General Lee, the latter of which General Webb adopts, p. 119). General McClellan's strength, omitting Dix's command at Fort Monroe, was by his official return for June 10, 105,825 “present for duty.” (This number General Webb unfairly reduces to 92,500.) This disparity was not greater than must naturally exist between two combatants so unequal in resources as were the North and South. If the independence of the South was to be achieved it must be done in spite of it. To Lee's mind a simply defensive policy, resulting ultimately in a siege, promised nothing beyond a protracted struggle, with certain disaster at the end of it. He believed he could best thwart his adversary by attacking him. McClellan had, after the battle of Seven Pines, transferred the bulk of his army to the south side of the Chickahominy, where he reoccupied the ground from which Keyes and Heinzelman had been driven on May 31. This ground he covered with a network of entrenchments, and under the cover of strong works was slowly pushing his lines towards Richmond. About one-third of his army held the north side of the Chickahominy as high up as Meadow Bridge, and at the same time covered his communications with his base at West Point, on the Pamunkey. Lee determined to attack the Federal right wing, overwhelm it if possible, and destroy McClellan's communications and depots. McClellan would thus be forced to fight for his communications or to adopt some other line of retreat at immense cost of supplies. The information brought by Stuart confirmed Lee in his plan, and Jackson was then ordered to come down on McClellan's right and rear. When Jackson was at hand A. P. Hill was to send a brigade across the Chickahominy above the Federal right to unite with Jackson, and when the Confederate forces had moved down the north side and uncovered Meadow bridge, the remainder of A. P. Hill's division was to cross there, and he was to be followed by Longstreet and D. H. Hill by way of the Mechanicsville bridge as soon as it was open. Magruder and Huger were left to hold the lines in front of Richmond, facing the mass of McClellan's army.

Jackson, worn by his forced march from the Valley, was behind time on the morning of June 26th, and A. P. Hill waited from early in the

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