question of numbers, in no condition to meet the splendidly equipped and supplied army they must soon meet and contend with.
But there entered into Lee
's calculations factors and forces that are mightier than armies and navies and more potent than resources.
Fully satisfied of the righteousness of his intentions and of the cause which he had unhesitatingly espoused and was defending; knowing no line of action but that which duty pointed out, and with a sublime faith that never distrusted an overruling Providence
, and therefore ‘never took counsel of its fears,’ he prayerfully and courageously grappled with the situation and prudently prepared for the impending conflict, satisfied and confident that with the army of Northern Virginia, every man of which not only loved but trusted in him, he would be the winner.
Apprised by McClellan
's movements of his intentions, Lee
increased and strengthened the defenses of Richmond
and guarded the water approach to that threatened city by obstructing the ship channel of the James
and planting intrenched batteries on Drewry
's bluff; at the same time he recalled all but Ewell
's division of Johnston
's army from the line of the upper Rappahannock
, and with these reinforced Magruder
on the peninsula, who had already nearly completed a strong line of defense, from the James
to the York
, in front of Williamsburg
, to bar McClellan
's way to Richmond
Having thus outlined the locations and dispositions of the combatants in the fields of action, the narrative now proceeds to follow the fortunes of the five Federal armies —which the compelling genius of Jackson
soon made but two—that at the opening of the Virginia
campaign of 1862, near the last of March, were co-operating for the capture of Richmond
, and those of the opposing Confederate forces.
was first in the field of actual combat, and so his famous Valley campaign is the first chapter of the story.