He proposed an attack upon General Grant's left flank, so as to double him up on his right and centre, while his rear should be assailed by all the cavalry that could be massed against it. General Lee at first appeared to favor the idea, but expressed some fear that the Norfolk Railroad cuts and the Second Swamp would prove too great obstacles in our way for the offensive.
It was upon this point that he consulted General Mahone, who had been the civil engineer and builder of the Norfolk road, and was necessarily familiar with the country over which our forces would have to operate.
General Mahone was of General Lee's opinion, and the suggested plan was not carried out. Meanwhile, and after a thorough examination of the new lines—of the Jerusalem plank road and of the Blandford ridge—General Beauregard expressed the opinion that we had better hold on, for the time being, to the line we then occupied, for the following reasons:
That it kept the enemy's batteries at