This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
‘  about 1 o'clock in the afternoon, expecting Jackson, whose route led in flank and rear, to arrive and decide the action.’ Again, he says of the operations on the south of the Chickahominy: ‘Porter could expect no aid from the southside, for they were fully engaged by the demonstrations of Magruder, who, by energetic handling of his troops, making a great show and movement and clatter, held the corps commanders, to whom McClellan applied for aid in behalf of Porter, so fully occupied that they declared they could spare none.’ Of the devoted, loyal sons of Virginia who volunteered for her defense, none was more patriotic or heroic than John Bankhead Magruder. On the plains of Mexico he had won his first laurels. With consummate skill he fortified the historic peninsular from Yorktown to Mulberry Point, so that the foremost captain of the Federal army, with 100,000 men against 15,000, was halted and held at bay until Johnston's forces could march to the rescue. At Savage's station he attacked the rear guard of McClellan's army, and inflicted severe loss on the Federals. From that point he had moved with great alacrity to Timberlake's store, and was in position to deal a telling blow at Frazier's farm, when the order came to move to New Market. It does seem the irony of fate that he should have been the victim of the misfortunes that attended our imperfect knowledge of the roads and topography around Richmond. President Davis, in his ‘Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government,’ says: ‘We had no maps of the country in which we were operating; our generals were ignorant of the roads, and their guides knew little more than the way from their homes to Richmond.’ This latter declaration does injustice to many patriotic and intelligent citizens of our lower counties, some of whom have passed beyond the reach of censure or praise, others of whom are here to testify for themselves, and will be heard from, doubtless, around your camp fires. General Long says, evidently with a view of offsetting the rather severe criticisms of General Dick Taylor, that the major-generals had maps, and he produced a copy of the same. That some of our generals had maps of the principal county roads there can be no question; but the by-roads were not laid down. A division-general, after the engagement of July 1st, was directed to move on the left flank and proceed to the neighborhood of the old Westover church, in Charles City county. Calling to his guide, he asked
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.