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[283]

Jackson, by marching and using the trains of the Virginia Central railroad, in a ‘ride-and-tie’ way, reached Frederickshall on the 21st, where he rested on Sunday, the 22d. At midnight, after the Sabbath had passed, Jackson mounted his horse, and accompanied by a single courier, rode rapidly toward Richmond for a conference to which Lee had invited him. By impressing a relay of horses, he reached that city after a 50-mile ride, at 1 p. m., and at 3, Monday, 23d, was in conference with the commanding general in reference to an attack on McClellan's right. On that same Monday, Jackson's men moved forward and on the evening of the 25th reached Ashland, suffering greatly from the intense summer heat of the lowlands, the choking dust of the roads, and the scarcity of water.

By June 24th, McClellan had an inkling of the approach of Jackson, and asked Stanton, his secretary of war, what he knew of the whereabouts of this hardto-be-located man. This information was supplied him on the 25th, locating Jackson anywhere from Gordonsville to Luray, or in the mountains of West Virginia, while Banks and Fremont, in the lower valley, were intently watching for an attack by him from up the valley. On this same 25th, McClellan telegraphed to Washington: ‘I am inclined to think that Jackson will attack my right and rear. The rebel force is stated at 200,000, including Jackson and Beauregard. I shall have to contend against vastly superior odds if these reports be true.’

Lee's plan of attack, which he, communicated to his division commanders in a confidential general order, was for Jackson to move on the 25th from Ashland, and encamp his 16,000 men west of the Virginia Central railroad; at 3 a. m. on the 26th to march southeastward by way of Old Polly Hundley's corner and across the Totopotomoy, to Pole Green church, near Hundley's corner, in the rear of McClellan's position and on the Shady Grove road which leads into the road following down the Pamunkey. As Jackson crossed the railway be was to inform Branch, on the Brook turnpike, who was guarding that approach to Richmond with one of A. P. Hill's brigades, who, when thus informed, was to cross the Chickahominy and move down its northern bank toward Mechanicsville. The order next stated: ‘As soon as the movements of these rear columns (Jackson's and Branch's) ’

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