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[110] attack in front, hoping by his combined forces to be victorious on the north side of the Chickahominy; meanwhile the small force on the entrenched line south of the Chickahominy should hold the left of the enemy in check. I pointed out to him that our force and entrenched line between that left flank and Richmond was too weak for a protracted resistance, and if McClellan was the man I took him for when I nominated him for promotion in a new regiment of cavalry, and subsequently selected him for one of the military commission sent to Europe during the War of the Crimea, as soon as he found that the bulk of our army was on the north side of the Chickahominy, he would not stop to try conclusions with it there, but would immediately move upon his objective point, the city of Richmond. If, on the other hand, he should behave like an engineer officer, and deem it his first duty to protect his line of communication, I thought the plan proposed was not only the best, but would be a success. Something of his old esprit de corps manifested itself in General Lee's first response, that he did not know engineer officers were more likely than others to make such mistakes, but, immediately passing to the main subject, he added, ‘If you will hold him as long as you can at the intrenchment, and then fall back on the detached works around the city, I will be upon the enemy's heels before he gets there.’

Thus was inaugurated the offensive-defensive campaign which resulted so gloriously to our arms, and turned from the capital of the Confederacy a danger so momentous that, looking at it retrospectively, it is not seen how a policy less daring or less firmly pursued could have saved the capital from capture.

To resume the connected thread of our narrative: preparatory to this campaign, a light entrenchment for infantry cover, with some works for field guns, was constructed on the south side of the Chickahominy, and General Whiting, with two brigades, as before stated, was sent to reenforce General Jackson in the Valley, so as to hasten the expulsion of the enemy, after which Jackson was to move rapidly from the Valley so as to arrive in the vicinity of Ashland by June 24th, and by striking the enemy on his right flank, to aid in the proposed attack. The better to insure the success of this movement, General Lawton, who was coming with a brigade from Georgia to join General Lee, was directed to change his line of march and unite with General Jackson in the Valley.

As General Whiting went by railroad, it was expected that the enemy would be cognizant of the fact, but would not, probably, assign to it the real motive; that such was the case is shown by an unsuccessful attack

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