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Benson J. Lossing, Pictorial Field Book of the Civil War. Volume 2., Chapter 15: the Army of the Potomac on the Virginia Peninsula. (search)
avalry to reap a richer harvest of the fruits of victory. After menacing Harper's Ferry, where General Rufus Saxton was in command, Jackson began May 80, 1862. as hasty a retreat up the Valley as Banks had made down it, for he was threatened with immediate peril. General Shields, as we have observed, had been ordered to join McDowell in a movement toward Richmond, to co-operate with McClellan. He reached McDowell's camp with eleven thousand men on the day of the battle of Winchester. May 23. On the following day the President and Secretary of War arrived there, when McDowell, whose army was then forty-one thousand strong, was ordered to move toward Richmond on the 26th. That order was countermanded a few hours later, for, on their return to Washington, the President and his War Minister were met by startling tidings from the Shenandoah Valley. The safety of the National capital seemed to be in great peril, and McDowell was ordered to push twenty thousand men into the Valley b
Benson J. Lossing, Pictorial Field Book of the Civil War. Volume 2., Chapter 16: the Army of the Potomac before Richmond. (search)
ely, for, as we have seen, McDowell was necessarily detained to fight Jackson and Ewell, and to watch an active foe beyond the Rapid Anna River, who was then threatening Washington City. Site of New Bridge. this was the appearance of the rude Bridge and the locality when the writer sketched it, at the close of May, 1866. The two great armies were now in close proximity before Richmond, with the sluggish marshbordered Chickahominy between them. Their first collisions occurred on the 23d and 24th of May: one near New Bridge, a short distance from Cool Arbor, where the Fourth Michigan Cavalry,. under Colonel Woodbury, waded the river, In dry weather this stream is fordable at all points, but rains render it almost impassable for cavalry and artillery. The average width of the river in that vicinity is between forty and fifty feet. Heavily timbered bottoms spread out from it, from half a mile to a mile in width, and in some places it is bordered by extensive swamps, travers