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[282] first, could oppose but 57,000, but to these he soon added 15,000 from the Carolinas. On the 8th, while Jackson was ambidextrously engaged with Fremont and Shields, Lee was writing to him: ‘Should there be nothing requiring your attention in the valley, so as to prevent your leaving it for a few days, and you can make arrangements to deceive the enemy and impress him with the idea of your presence, please let me know, that you may unite at the decisive moment with the army near Richmond.’ Jackson, in reply, asked for reinforcements and the privilege of dealing further blows at his Valley opponents. Lee promptly sent him fourteen veteran regiments, under Lawton and Whiting, sending them off by rail on that day; marching them through Richmond in martial array, with all the pomp and circumstance of war, and taking good care to have McClellan apprised of their destination. The story of Jackson's Valley campaign has already been told, as well as the use he made of these reinforcements, and how he left the Valley on the 17th of June to swell Lee's forces at Richmond, after having amply provided for the quiet and safety of the large Federal army that his strategy had massed in the lower valley.

Undaunted courage, coupled with rare caution, characterized the new Confederate general commanding. Desiring to be fully informed in reference to the rear as well as the front of the great host beleaguering Richmond, Lee took his bold and ever-alert cavalry leader, J. E. B. Stuart, into his councils, and dispatched him on the 12th with 1, 200 veteran cavalry to reconnoiter McClellan's rear. Starting from Richmond he followed the Brook turnpike northward to Ashland, then turned eastward by way of Hanover Court House, and followed the main road down the south side of the Pamunkey, a few miles in the rear of McClellan's far-stretching army, crossing the York River railroad at Tunstall's, making captures, destroying stores, and breaking the enemy's line of communication as he went; then, turning southward, he crossed the swollen Chickahominy, near Providence forge, and continued to the banks of the James at Charles City, whence he returned by the river road to Richmond, having in forty-eight hours, with the loss of but a single man, the brave Latane whom he left in the hands of noble Virginia women for burial, ridden entirely around the Federal army and gathered information of incalculable value to Lee in maturing his plans.

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