the four routes whereby McClellan
might advance—the one chosen the previous July; another by Fredericksburg
; the third and fourth by the lower Rappahannock
, or the Peninsula
between the York
The choice of the second route (joined to movements which, by the aid of the river, it was easy to conceal), would place McClellan
at least two days nearer Richmond
than was Johnston
at Bull Run
Face to face with these conditions, the Confederate General
, between the 5th and 11th of March, placed his entire army on the south bank of the Rappahannock
, where with equal readiness he could resist his antagonist advancing from Manassas
, or met him at Fredericksburg
, and at the same time be in a position to unite with others, should he move from Fortress Monroe
, or by the lower Rappahannock
On the latter date McClellan
occupied the works at Centreville
, which, except by Quaker
guns, had been deserted since the evening of the 9th. Fortress Monroe
was then chosen as the base of operations against Richmond
Soon perceiving the evidence of this, Johnston
moved to the south of the Rapidan
, whence he could still more effectually unite the forces of opposition to the meditated movement.
's plan was to capture the force on the Peninsula
, open the James
and press on to Richmond
before reinforcements could arrive.
Two things baffled his purpose—first, Magruder
's inflexible intrenchments; second, Johnston
On the day McClellan
began his movement from Fortress Monroe
began the movement to swell Magruder
It was on the 5th of April that McClellan
was brought to a halt, in front of Yorktown
and the supporting fortifications.
As the conclusion from the artillery duel of this day, which was protracted until dusk, it was deemed inexpedient to carry these positions by assault.
It was an army of a hundred thousand against twelve.
With such forces against such forts, it had been ascertained, that the ground, in front of those frowning heights and forbidding swamps, was swept by guns, which could not be silenced.
Accordingly, parallels were started to bring Yorktown
to terms by a more gradual procedure.
There is, however, no parallel to the confession extorted from McClellan
From the final parellel, it was thought siege batteries would be ready to open on the 6th of May.
's computation, coinciding with McClellan
was evacuated on the night of the 3d.
On the morning of the 4th, empty works again capitulated to the conqueror.