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[428] ‘heavy battalions’ at last prevailed, our line was broken, and our chieftain, though mortally wounded, still kept in his saddle, invoking his men to continue the fight.1 Our gallant chieftain was brought wounded into Richmond, a noble sacrifice on the altar of duty.

Long accustomed to connect him only with daring exploits and brilliant successes, there was much surprise and deeper sorrow when the news spread through the city. Admired as a soldier, loved as a man, honored as a Christian patriot to whom duty to his God and his country was a supreme law, the intense anxiety for his safety made us all shrink from realizing his imminent danger. When I saw him in his very last hours, he was so calm, and physically so strong, that I could not believe that he was dying until the surgeon, after I had left his bedside, told me he was bleeding inwardly, and that the end was near.

Grant's plan of campaign, as now revealed to us, was to continue his movement against Lee's army, and if, as experience had taught him, he should be unable to defeat it and move directly to his objective point, Richmond, he was to continue his efforts so as to reach the James River below Richmond, and thus to connect with the army under General Butler, moving up on the south side of the James. The topography of the country favored that design. The streams in the country in which he was operating all trended toward the southeast, and his change of position was frequently made under cover of them. Butler in the meantime was ordered with the force of his department, about twenty thousand, reenforced by Gilmer's division of ten thousand, to move up to City Point, there entrench, and concentrate all his troops as rapidly as possible. From this base he was expected to operate so to as destroy the railroad connections between Richmond and the South. On May 7th he telegraphed that he had ‘destroyed many miles of railroad, and got a position which, with proper supplies, we can hold out against the whole of Lee's army.’

At this time Major General Robert Ransom, as before mentioned, was in command at Richmond, including Drewry's Bluff. His force consisted, for the defense of both places, of the men serving the stationary or heavy artillery, and three brigades of infantry—Hunton's at Chapin's Bluff, and Barton's and Gracie's for field service. To these, in cases of emergency, the clerks and artisans in the departments and manufactories were organized, to be called out as an auxiliary force when needed for the defense of the capital. It was with this field force that Ransom, as has been related, moved upon Butler and drove him

1 Address of Major H. B. McClellan before Army of Northern Virginia Association.

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