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[91] he had heavily fortified his position all the way from the White House, on the Pamunky river, to where the old Central Railroad, now the Chesapeake and Ohio, crosses the Chickahominy river, his forces being estimated at from 90,000 to 120,000 men, fully equipped with all the best arms, ammunition, commissary and quartermaster stores.

A glance at the map will show that this position, fortified as it was, menaced the Capital City, and that, unless some means could be devised to protect it, there was little to prevent the capture of our beautiful city. That little was General Lee and his three divisions under Longstreet, Hill and Jackson. The latter, it is true, a week before the Seven Days fight began, was in the Valley of Virginia, giving one commander of the three divisions of the Federal army opposed to him a whipping one day, another the day after, and keeping all of them guessing where he was or whose turn it was next to be attacked and routed. While they were guessing Old Jack and his foot cavalry slipped off, and before General Banks (Jackson's quartermaster and commissary general) and his subordinates knew his whereabouts he was on General Lee's left flank, as we will see later on. There is no doubt about the fact of McClellan's ability. He was a fine general, and had under him a fine body of well equipped troops, but he was no match for General Lee, either in strategy or hard fighting.

During these weeks General Lee had been lying quietly between the Chickahominy and Richmond, gathering together such forces as he could induce Mr. Davis to give him, and while the small arms and artillery were not effective, nor the ammunition as good as that of McClellan, still there was no hesitancy on the part of General Lee in attacking McClellan and his army.

Our battery (Marmaduke Johnson's) had for some weeks been camped in the field between Colonel John B. Young's house, afterwards purchased by Mr. Ginter, and Emmanuel Church. On the Brook Road, near the Yellow Tavern, was the Hanover troops acting as pickets; between us and Richmond, Branch's Brigade of North Carolinians.

On the 24th of June, 1862, in the afternoon, orders were issued for us to move out the Brook Turnpike, and in a very short while, with the cavalry in front, our battery in the centre and Branch's Brigade in the rear, we were swinging down the road towards the northwest. As we passed the gate of Mr. Stewart's beautiful place several of the ladies of the family were gathered to watch the troops

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