previous next
[362] the mountains in ample time to fall on the enemy's flank and join in the fray, knowing also that the Federal authorities would hesitate to push forward the army of the Potomac and leave Jackson so near the gateway to the Federal capital. Could Lee have followed his own desires, he would have ordered Jackson to descend upon McClellan's flank while he moved to attack his front with Longstreet; but reasons of state required him to guard the approaches to the Confederate capital, and compelled him to stand upon the defensive.

McClellan now occupied Pope's former position, behind the Rappahannock, with fully 125,000 men; 80,000 held the defenses of Washington, and 22,000 watched the portals of the Shenandoah valley in the vicinity of Harper's Ferry. Lee had less than 72,000 in the two corps of the army of Northern Virginia and in his cavalry corps, under Stuart, to again meet this great army of the Potomac.

Not satisfied with the tardy movements of McClellan, Lincoln supplanted him in command, at Warrenton, with Burnside, who at once hastened to execute an ‘on to Richmond,’ by way of Fredericksburg, thinking that by taking advantage of a shorter line of movement he could reach his objective without being intercepted by Lee; but when, on the 15th, he pressed his advance toward Fredericksburg, the alert Stuart promptly reported his movement to Lee, and the latter, with equal promptness, foresaw his plan of campaign and hurried Longstreet forward from Culpeper and placed him at Fredericksburg, across Burnside's track, in a strong position on the south bank of the Rappahannock, before Burnside's pontoons arrived on the Stafford heights, on the northern bank of that river, thus frustrating the Federal plan of campaign.

Jackson, who had been busy in the valley breaking up the line of the Baltimore & Ohio railroad and keeping the Federal authorities uneasy as to his whereabouts, promptly obeyed Lee's order to follow after Longstreet, but by ways farther to the westward. By making demonstrations at Chester and Thornton gaps, of the Blue ridge, he mystified those watching his movements by marching up the valley to New Market, thence taking the great highway leading across the Massanutton, the south fork of the Shenandoah, the Blue ridge at Fisher's gap and by Madison Court House, to the vicinity of

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
S. D. Lee (5)
George B. McClellan (3)
James Longstreet (3)
Stonewall Jackson (3)
Burnside (3)
J. E. B. Stuart (1)
John Pope (1)
Abraham Lincoln (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
15th (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: