at the battle of Seven Pines, and General Lee assumed his new duties as commander of the Army of Northern Virginia, General Stonewall Jackson was in the Shenandoah Valley, and the rest of the Confederate troops were east and north of Richmond in front of General George B. McClellan's army, then encamped about the Chickahominy River, 100,000 strong, and preparing for a regular siege of the Confederate capital.
The situation required prompt and successful action by General Lee.
Very early in June he called about him, on the noted Nine-mile road near Richmond, all his commanders, and asked each in turn his opinion of the military situation.
I[ had my own views, but did not express them, believing that if they were important it was equally important that
Gin'l Longstreet's body-sarvant, Sah, Endu'in‘ De Wah!
they should be unfolded privately to the commanding general.
The next day I called on General Lee, and suggested my plan for driving the Federal forces away from the Chickahom