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[109] constructing successive parallels. I expressed, in marked terms, my disappointment at hearing such views, and General Lee remarked that he had, before I came in, said very much the same thing. I then withdrew and rode to the front, where after a short time General Lee joined me, and entered into conversation as to what, under the circumstances, I thought it most advisable to do. I then said to him, substantially, that I knew of nothing better than the plan he had previously explained to me, which was to have been executed by General Johnston, but which was not carried out; that the change of circumstances would make one modification necessary—that, instead, as then proposed, of bringing General A. P. Hill, with his division, on the rear flank of the enemy, it would, because of the preparation for defense made in the meantime, now be necessary to bring the stronger force of General T. J. Jackson from the Valley of the Shenandoah. So far as we were then informed, General Jackson was hotly engaged with a force superior to his own, and, before he could be withdrawn, it was necessary that the enemy should be driven out of the Valley. For this purpose, as well as to mask the design of bringing Jackson's forces to make a junction with those of Lee, a strong division under General Whiting was detached to go by rail to the Valley to join General Jackson and, by a vigorous assault, to drive the enemy across the Potomac. As soon as he commenced a retreat which unmistakably showed that his flight would not stop within the limits of Virginia, General Jackson was instructed, with his whole force, to move rapidly on the right flank of the enemy north of the Chickahominy. The manner in which the division was detached to reenforce General Jackson was so open that it was not doubted General McClellan would soon be apprised of it, and would probably attribute it to any other than the real motive, and would confirm him in his exaggerated estimate of our strength.

By the rapidity of movement and skill with which General Jackson handled his troops, he, after several severe engagements, finally routed the enemy before the reenforcement of Whiting arrived; he then, on June 17th, proceeded, with that celerity which gave to his infantry its wonderful fame and efficiency, to execute the orders which General Lee had sent to him.

As evidence of the daring and unfaltering fortitude of General Lee, I will here recite an impressive conversation which occurred between us in regard to this movement. His plan was to throw forward his left across the Meadow Bridge, drive back to the enemy's right flank, and then, crossing by the Mechanicsville Bridge with another column, to

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