's book is a valuable one.
It is on the whole, a clear and simple narrative of the Peninsula
campaign, or rather of the actions and sufferings of the army of the Potomac during that campaign.
It is written with that comprehension of the military field of operations and of the movements therein, that we might expect from an officer of the rank and distinction of the author, and who was at the same time a participant in the campaign he describes.
His tone is temperate, his criticisms of the various Federal officers and authorities whom he thinks blameworthy, are judicious and moderate, though in some cases, as in that of McClellan
, they are, to say the least, generous; his spirit towards his foes, “the rebels” is generally fair, and he has evidently taken pains to consult the authorities on both sides.
The book is a pleasant contrast to the mass of misrepresentation and abuse that for years poured forth from northern papers under the name of History, the end of which, it is to be hoped, is heralded by this book and others like it.
has however given rather a narrative of the doings
of the army of the Potomac than a history of the Peninsula
His description of the Confederate
side of the struggle is very brief and meagre.
His attention, and his pages are chiefly filled with the Federal
plans of campaign, the differences between McClellan
and the Federal
administration, the difficulties which successively appeared in the path of the Federal
army and the questions as to responsibility connected with these difficulties and the consequent failures.
He handles General McClellan
's military reputation very tenderly, he is anxious to take care of it, and he has found, as others have, that this makes exhaustive draughts on his skill and his time.
There are too a numbers of errors of statement in the book, some of which are evidently due to haste in its preparation.
In the spring of 1862, the Confederate government found itself face to face with a difficult problem in Virginia
The largest and best appointed of the Federal
armies, under their Commander-in-Chief
, lay in front of General Johnston
, evidently waiting only for good weather to assume the offensive.
This army contained over 180,000 men “present for duty,” and from 600 to 700 pieces of artillery (p. 7). Johnston
was holding it in check with less than 50,000 men (p. 26). The Federal navy had virtually undisputed control of the sea and the rivers, except the James
Some Confederate batteries had partially obstructed the Potomac
, but these could be driven away whenever the Federal Commander
chose to do it. A small Confederate force under Huger
still held Norfolk
and the Navy Yard
, where they were preparing the ram, Virginia
, to introduce a new era into naval warfare.
, with 11,000 men, watched the peninsula between the James
, and by means of his works at Yorktown
and Gloucester Point
, closed the latter river above that point.
In the West
heavy reverses had already befallen the Confederate
arms, and still greater were impending, so that nothing could be drawn from that quarter to strengthen the slender means with which the Confederacy
was to meet the prodigious military armament that was about to set forth against Richmond
, who, by his boldness, had confined the Federal
army for months to the vicinity of Washington
, realized that with the advent of spring his advanced position at Manassas
could move against him in overwhelming strength, or he could leave Washington
securely defended by a force larger than the Confederate army, and then move an army twice as numerous as Johnston
's to the Rappahannock
or the lower Chesapeake
, and thus place it between Johnston
Seeing that Fredericksburg
offered the most direct route to Richmond
possessed many advantages over all the others, Johnston
expected his adversary to move by it, and therefore prepared to fall back behind the Rappahannock
so that he might be ready to oppose an advance by way of Fredericksburg
as well as be within reach should McClellan
choose a more southerly line of approach.
continued to maintain a bold front at Manassas
, and by various ruses
imposed greatly exaggerated notions of his strength upon McClellan
to the last moment.
To the latter's great surprise he quietly evacuated Manassas
on March 9th.
This movement of the Confederate army somewhat deranged McClellan
After long discussion, the latter had induced President Lincoln
to agree to his plan of transporting the mass of his army to Urbana
, on the lower Rappahannock
, for an advance thence by way of West Point
A main inducement to this plan was that the Federal
army might by a rapid movement interpose itself between Richmond
and General Johnston
With the Confederates
behind the Rappahannock
this last could no longer be hoped for, and General McClellan
now had recourse to the alternative plan which he had kept in reserve (General Webb
calls it a dernier ressort
, p. 30) of making his base at Fortress Monroe
and advancing thence up the Peninsula
The brilliant naval victory of the Virginia
(March 8) in Hampton Roads
closed the James
for the time, but the Federal fleet in the lower Chesapeake
was able to confine the formidable iron-clad to that river, and thus the bay and the York river
up to Yorktown
were open to the unmolested use of the Federal
By the first of April a large part of McClellan
's army was at Fort Monroe
and ready to go forward.
The closing weeks of March and the early ones of April were anxious ones to the Confederates
's great army was evidently on the move against Richmond
, but from what point or points it would advance was for a time uncertain, and the utmost vigilance had to be exercised.
The Confederate forces were fearfully inadequate, even when concentrated, and now they were scattered to guard many places.
Early in April it became evident from the large number of troops that had landed at Fort Monroe
intended to try the Peninsula
route, and orders were given to begin the transfer of Johnston
's army from the Rappahannock
Meantime, to Magruder
with 11,000 men was assigned the task of holding the Federal
army in check until Johnston
's forces could arrive.
We believe that history records few operations more skilful or successful than those by which Magruder
accomplished his task.
's line stretched across the Peninsula
to Mulberry Point
on the James
6,000 of his men he garrisoned the extremities of his line, holding Gloucester Point
and closing the York river
by his batteries.
The other 5,000 held the line of the Warwick creek
, which he had converted into a formidable line of defense by the use of all the resources that nature and engineering skill had placed within his reach.
On April 2 McClellan
reached Fort Monroe
, and finding 58,000 of his troops ready to move, he ordered this force forward on the 4th, leaving the remainder to follow.
Next day he found himself in front of Magruder
's line, where his advance was checked, and so vigorously and skilfully did Magruder
manage his forces that the Federal
army forbore to assault, and deliberately set down to force the handful of Confederates out of their Yorktown
lines by regular approaches and siege guns.
A feeble and unsuccessful attempt was made on April 16 to break the Confederate
lines, and after this McClellan
seemed confirmed in his conviction that they could be carried only by regular siege operations.
These lines were held for one month — long enough for Johnston
and the bulk of his army to reach Yorktown
— long enough for the Confederate Government to make all the dispositions within its power to meet the invading army.
Much has been written in criticism, and much in defence of the Federal
administration and of McClellan
in reference to the “siege of Yorktown
That the administration treated McClellan
badly there can be no doubt.
Its whole conduct towards him, in the spring of 1862, showed want of confidence, and in withholding McDowell
's corps at the last moment, it behaved in a way that should have caused his immediate and peremptory resignation.
But, on the other hand, it is nonsense to excuse, on the score of want of support, a commander who, with 80,000 or 90,000 troops, was completely held at bay by 11,000 men behind a line twelve miles long!
showed as great skill in retiring from Yorktown
as he and Magruder
had shown in defending it. At the last moment when McClellan
, after a month's arduous effort, was about ready to open his powerful batteries, Johnston
quietly retreated towards Richmond
, and so surprised and disconcerted McClellan
, that it was half a day before he could begin the pursuit. (Page 69.) At Williamsburg
(May 5) the Confederates
found it necessary to check the advance of the Federals
, which was pressing their rear.
and D. H. Hill
were halted for this purpose.
accomplished the end in view handsomely by severely defeating Hooker
's division, and inflicting some damage on Kearney
's. D. H. Hill
, on the Confederate
left, did not manage so well, and in consequence Hancock
was able there to
inflict a severe repulse on Early
But, on the whole, General Johnston
, with a loss of over 1,500, inflicted a loss of over 2,200, and effectually checked the pursuit.
sent a large force, headed by Franklin
's division by water to the head of the York
opposite West Point
, with the purpose of there landing and seizing the Confederate
line of retreat; but Johnston
attacked the first troops that landed vigorously, drove them back to the cover of their gunboats, and penned them up there until his army trains had passed on towards the Chickahominy
Baffled thus in his movements against both the flank and rear of the retreating army, McClellan
was content to follow slowly and with great caution.
The retreat from Yorktown
involved the evacuation of Norfolk
by the Confederates
; and the destruction of the iron-clad Virginia
quickly gave to the Federals
the command of the James river
up to Drewry's Bluff
This caused Johnston
to retire across the Chickahominy
and take position in front of Richmond
; and on May 21 the Federal
army advanced to the line of the Chickahominy
So far boldness and skill in strategy had given the Confederates
the advantage in the campaign, but the Federals
were gathering from different directions in overwhelming force, and it was evident that a great battle, or battles, must soon be fought for the possession of Richmond
The disparity of numbers against the Confederates
And here it should be said that General Webb
is inaccurate, and sometimes very unfair in his statement of numbers.
Thus, using an expression of McClellan
's which probably refers to the force he could place in line of battle in an aggressive movement, he states McClellan
's strength in May as 80,000 (p. 84), while he makes no reference to the official reports.
From the latter he elsewhere (p. 181) gives McClellan
's numbers when he left Yorktown
, as 109,335 “present for duty.”
There is no fair and honest basis for estimates of strength but the official reports.
All else is guess-work, and all cutting down of official numbers on special grounds is only fair when applied in the same way to both armies.
Now, it is plain that McClellan
had early in May 109,000 effectives.
How many of these he could throw forward to fight, and how many must be kept guarding his flanks, his communications and his depots, is not the question.
In answer to McClellan
's urgent appeals, at the middle of May, McDowell
was ordered forward from Fredericksburg
with a force which General Webb
correctly states at 41,000 men and 100 guns (p. 85). Thus, 150,000 men were about to unite in the attack on Richmond
To meet this, Johnston
had, by the official report of May 21, 53,688 men at Richmond
He called in Branch
's and Anderson
's brigades from
, and Huger
's three brigades from Petersburg
absurdly estimates Branch
's and Anderson
's brigades at 12,000 (p. 86). They actually numbered possibly as many as 5,500.
's order, Southern Historical papers, vol.
VIII, page 103, which shows his strength did not exceed 3,000, and Taylor
's Four Years with General Lee
, page 50, where Anderson
's strength is given at from 2,000 to 2,300 in the seven days battles.) Huger
's brigades may have numbered 6,000 at this time.
Thus the Confederates
were able to concentrate about 65,000 men to oppose the 150,000 which were about to unite against them.
It would be hard to find a finer illustration of the adage, that “fortune favors the brave” than occurred at this juncture.
, after defeating Fremont
's advance in the mountains of West Virginia
, and while he was supposed to be one hundred and fifty miles away, suddenly surprised Banks
at Front Royal
, and driving him in confusion and route across the Potomac
, advanced to Harper's Ferry
and his 16,000 men created a marvelous panic at Washington
and throughout the North
, the accounts of which at this day read like the pages of a romance.
The Federal Capitol was believed to be in danger, 300,000 men were called for by the President
, the militia of whole States were ordered out, and the proclamations of Governors as far away as Ohio
would not have seemed tame to the Romans after Cannae
The most important result of Jackson
's dash was the stoppage of McDowell
, who had already begun the movement that in three days would have united him with McClellan
A large part of McDowell
's army was ordered back after Jackson
, and the remainder was held for the time at Fredericksburg
Relieved by Jackson
's success of the fear of McDowell
's forces from the North
, who had determined to attack McClellan
before the junction, if possible, postponed his attack until the advance of a part of the latter's army on the south side of the Chickahominy
should give the Confederates
a chance of concentrating against one of the Federal
Meantime General Fitz John Porter
gained an advantage which had no important results, at Hanover Court-house, where, with 12,000 men he attacked and defeated Branch
Here again General Webb
greatly exaggerates the Confederate
force. (P. 96--see Branch
's order above referred to.)
At the last of May Johnston
thought the time to strike had come.
Two of McClellan
's corps lay on the south side of the Chickahominy
along the Williamsburg
road, their advance having been pushed as far as Seven Pines
The remainder of the Federal
army was on the north
side of that river.
The communication between the wings was as yet imperfect, for but few of the numerous bridges McClellan
was building were complete.
Every advance towards Richmond
by the corps on the south side separated them more and more from their supports.
On May 30th Johnston
concentrated twenty-three of his twenty-seven brigades, and prepared to throw them, on the morrow, against the Federal
corps of Keyes
, which were on the south side.
A terrific rain storm occurred on the night of the 30th, which by flooding the Chickahominy
imperiled and finally interrupted the communication between McClellan
While in this respect assisting the Confederates
, it seriously interferred with their movements on the 31st, as the whole country was covered with water, and some of the swollen sources of White Oak Swamp
caused a delay of many hours in the march of Huger
with his own and D. H. Hill
's division was sent out to attack Keyes
in front at Seven Pines
was to strike Keyes
's left flank, and Johnston
himself was to direct G. W. Smith
's division against his right flank and prevent a retreat towards the Chickahominy
Hours were wasted in waiting for Huger
to get into position.
Finally, about midday, Longstreet
ordered the attack to be made by D. H. Hill
's Federal division was quickly routed and the whole of Keyes
's Corps and Kearney
's division of Heintzelman
's was during the afternoon, defeated and driven from their works and camps to a third line of works a mile or two in the rear.
did not order Smith
had been two or three hours engaged before General Johnston
knew it, and when in the middle of the afternoon Smith
was hurried forward to give the coup de grace
, he was just in time to run against the head of Sumner
's corps at Fair Oaks
The latter sent by McClellan
to reinforce his left wing, had succeeded in crossing the Chickahominy
on the already floating bridges just before they were carried away, and hastening forward arrived soon enough to stop Smith
, and by engaging him in a stubborn and bloody contest until night, prevented his going to Longstreet
fell severely wounded at night-fall and the usual result of a change of commanders in the midst of a battle was seen next day. No concerted, definite plan of operations guided the Confederates
on June 1st.
Severe but desultory fighting took place between Longstreet
's lines and the fresh troops of Hooker
's and Richardson
's divisions without any decided result, while Smith
, now in chief command of the Confederates
remained quiet in front of Sumner
, though Magruder
's large division, which had been unengaged, was at hand.
By midday all fighting had
Early in the afternoon General R. E. Lee
, was placed in command by President Davis
, and during the evening and night he ordered the Confederate army back to its late positions in front of Richmond
The battle of Seven Pines
, though costing each army about 6,000 men, resulted in little.
The plan of the Confederate
leader was admirable, but the execution of it was defective.
Too much time was wasted in waiting for Huger
; but a more serious fault was the delay in sending forward Smith
's division on Longstreet
Next morning the battle might have been renewed with the whole Confederate force at hand with good promise of success.
As it was, the Confederates
had hit Keyes
damaging blows, but it had been done at heavy cost, and the only result of value to them was the increased caution and slowness of McClellan
The new Confederate Commander
at once began preparations for a renewal of the struggle.
Troops that could be spared from the South
were ordered to Richmond
was directed to be prepared to move to the same place from the Valley
at the critical moment. (General Webb
is in error in attributing this movement to Jackson
himself, as he does on page 122. Jackson
had been constantly instructed to keep such a movement in view, as may be seen from General Lee
's letter to him of May 16.) The victories of Cross Keys
and Port Republic
, on June 8 and June 9, made the withdrawal of McDowell
's corps from McClellan
permanent, and left Jackson
free to join Lee
. Meantime the latter was busy in preparation.
On June 11 Stuart
was sent with the Confederate cavalry to reconnoiter McClellan
's right and rear.
This gallant cavalryman extended his reconnoissance into a raid completely around the Federal
army, cutting its communications and destroying supplies as he went.
This expedition, one of the most brilliant and successful feats of arms that had been accomplished up to that time in the war, gave Lee
the information on which he planned his attack on McClellan
thinks it worthy of only a passing allusion.
now ordered Jackson
to join the main army, using a ruse de guerre
to prevent the large Federal forces in Northern Virginia
from following him. Considerable bodies of troops were sent up to Jackson
as if to reinforce him for another advance towards Washington
Care was taken that tidings of this movement should reach the enemy.
On June 16 Jackson
was ordered to move down with the greatest expedition and secrecy, and so admirable was the execution of this plan, that when Jackson
, twelve miles north of Richmond
on June 25th, neither McClellan
nor the government at Washington
had any knowledge of his whereabouts (page 124), and it
was not until the Federal
pickets north of the Chickahominy
were driven in next day that the Federal Commander
had any certain information of the approach of his swift-footed assailant.
was now ready to deliver battle.
His strength, including Jackson
, was from 80,000 to 81,000 men. (See the careful computations of General Early
, Southern Historical papers, vol.
I, p. 421, and of Colonel Taylor
, Four Years with General Lee
, the latter of which General Webb
adopts, p. 119). General McClellan
's strength, omitting Dix
's command at Fort Monroe
, was by his official return for June 10, 105,825 “present for duty.”
(This number General Webb
unfairly reduces to 92,500.) This disparity was not greater than must naturally exist between two combatants so unequal in resources as were the North and South.
If the independence of the South
was to be achieved it must be done in spite of it. To Lee
's mind a simply defensive policy, resulting ultimately in a siege, promised nothing beyond a protracted struggle, with certain disaster at the end of it. He believed he could best thwart his adversary by attacking him. McClellan
had, after the battle of Seven Pines
, transferred the bulk of his army to the south side of the Chickahominy
, where he reoccupied the ground from which Keyes
and Heinzelman had been driven on May 31.
This ground he covered with a network of entrenchments, and under the cover of strong works was slowly pushing his lines towards Richmond
About one-third of his army held the north side of the Chickahominy
as high up as Meadow Bridge
, and at the same time covered his communications with his base at West Point
, on the Pamunkey
determined to attack the Federal
right wing, overwhelm it if possible, and destroy McClellan
's communications and depots.
would thus be forced to fight for his communications or to adopt some other line of retreat at immense cost of supplies.
The information brought by Stuart
in his plan, and Jackson
was then ordered to come down on McClellan
's right and rear.
was at hand A. P. Hill
was to send a brigade across the Chickahominy
above the Federal
right to unite with Jackson
, and when the Confederate forces had moved down the north side and uncovered Meadow bridge
, the remainder of A. P. Hill
's division was to cross there, and he was to be followed by Longstreet
and D. H. Hill
by way of the Mechanicsville bridge
as soon as it was open.
were left to hold the lines in front of Richmond
, facing the mass of McClellan
, worn by his forced march from the Valley
, was behind time on the morning of June 26th, and A. P. Hill
waited from early in the
morning until the middle of the afternoon for the approach of Jackson
, which was to uncover the bridge in his front.
Then, fearing lest further delay might imperil the whole movement by revealing it to the enemy, he carried the bridge before him, and, moving down towards Mechanicsville
, drove the small Federal force there to the lines at Beaver Dam creek
, which were held by McCall
was expected to turn this line, but being yet behind, A. P. Hill
engaged the Federal
forces and made attempts on each flank, which were, however, repulsed.
and D. H. Hill
joined A. P. Hill
near nightfall, and the approach of Jackson
on their flank caused the Federals
to retreat next morning to Gaines's Mill
and Cold Harbor.
Here Fitz John Porter
held a strong position, covering the principal bridges across the Chickahominy
and protecting at the same time the York River railroad.
was reinforced during the afternoon by Slocum
's division, and later by two additional brigades.
These Federal forces amounted probably to from 30,000 to 40,000 men, or about one-third of McClellan
The remaining 70,000 were on the south side of the river, in front of Magruder
had left on the south side some 25,000 to 30,000, and thus had probably about 50,000 men with which to attack Porter
The Confederates followed up the retreating Federals to Gaines's Mill
on the afternoon of Friday, June 27th, attacked them in their positions, and after a fierce and bloody combat completely defeated Porter
, driving his troops to the Chickahominy
(which they crossed under cover of the night), and capturing twenty-two guns.
While this was going on, Magruder
made such a display of force in front of Richmond
that the mass of the Federal
army was held there inactive, and none of their officers in high command deemed it possible to spare any considerable force from that side to reinforce Porter
managed to hold two-thirds
's army idle with one-third
of his own, while with the main body of the Confederate forces he inflicted a crushing blow on Porter
The Federal commander was certainly outgeneraled.
The defeat of Porter
threw the York River railroad and the Federal
depots on that road and on the Pamunkey
into the hands of the Confederates
and forced the Federal
army to another line of retreat.
It was. now that McClellan
made his wisest move in the campaign.
He had been thinking of the James river
as a base, and now cut off from the Pamunkey
, he determined to move towards the James
at its nearest point, instead of recrossing the Chickahominy
and retreating down the peninsula.
He began at once the movement of the immense trains and material of his army across White Oak Swamp
, in the direction of
The highest commendation that can be given of this movement is that it deceived his adversary and gained him a day's breathing time.
was uncertain as to McClellan
's designs on the 28th, and such movements as he made that day were made with the notion that McClellan
would recross the Chickahominy
at Battner's bridge or at some of the crossings below.
It was night before the Confederate
commander divined McClellan
's plans, and issued orders accordingly.
On the 29th Longstreet
and A. P. Hill
were sent to the south side of the Chickahominy
They were, by a circuit, to strike the Long-Bridge
road and the flank of the retreating army.
were to press the rear of the Federals
by the Williamsburg
and Charles City roads, Jackson
to cross the Chickahominy
and join in the pursuit.
was busy all day marching towards his destination.
was compelled to repair the bridge over the Chickahominy
, which kept him back all day. Magruder
finding that the enemy had abandoned the lines in his front and had left or destroyed great quantities of stores, pressed after him and attacked the rear, under Sumner
, at Savage Station.
's attack was partial, he only using about half his force, and though there was much demoralization in the Federal
army as indicated by Heintzelman
's precipitate retreat and the destruction of stores, Sumner
was able to hold his ground and keep Magruder
at bay until night-fall, when the Federals
made good their retreat to the south side of White Oak Swamp
Next day, June 30th, was the day of greatest peril to the Federal
having crossed the Chickahominy
, was ordered to follow in its wake towards White Oak Swamp
was directed to press along the Charles City
, with his own and A. P. Hill
's divisions, was to attack its flank along the Long-Bridge
Nearer the James
was advancing along the River
was directed to make a circuit around Huger
and follow Longstreet
soon reached White Oak Swamp
and found the passage of this difficult stream strongly defended by Franklin
A severe artillery fight took place, in which the Federal
batteries suffered greatly, but Jackson
's efforts to reconstruct the bridge and force a passage for his infantry were successfully resisted by Franklin
was impeded by some felled timber in his way, and did nothing.
, on the extreme Confederate right, ran against Porter
and some Federal artillery that had taken position at Malvern
under the fire of the gunboats in James river
, and Holmes
was quickly and completely checked.
and A. P. Hill
, however, attacked
vigorously at Frazier
's farm, and defeated and put to flight the greater part of McCall
's division, capturing its commander and inflicting severe losses on the troops brought up in support.
At night-fall the Confederates
had pressed nearly to the Quaker
road, on which the Federals
were retreating, and had taken many prisoners and ten guns.
was unsupported, however, and the Federals
were able to hold on to their line of retreat until dark, when they fell back to Malvern Hill
This was the day big with fate to McClellan
co-operated with Longstreet
in his assault, the result can hardly be doubted; the greater part of the Federal
army must have been overwhelmed.
, though nearest Longstreet
, did nothing, and some of the Federal
troops in his front were actually sent against the latter.
This failure was one of the greatest blunders of the Confederate
was held back by a very serious obstacle, backed by a strong and well commanded force, sufficient, perhaps, to account in an ordinary case for his failure to unite in the attack, but it is hard to avoid the belief that had he exhibited on this occasion the wonderful skill and audacity that characterized his Valley campaign, he would have crossed White Oak Swamp
in spite of Franklin
Next day, July 1st, the Confederates
, once more reunited, followed the retreating army to Malvern Hill
, where McClellan
had selected an admirable position and massed on it all of his forces and his immense artillery.
again attacked, but after a sanguinary contest, in which the Federal
lines were severely tested, he was repulsed.
The attack on the part of the Confederates
was badly managed.
Some confusion about the roads in this intricate region caused Magruder
to be late in reaching the field.
Concert of action between the attacking columns was not secured; the assaults, especially on the right, where Magruder
commanded, were partial and disjointed, and the result was that McClellan
saved his army by inflicting a severe repulse upon his adversary.
As soon as the battle was ended, McClellan
abandoned the field and retreated to Harrison's Landing
), where he could be more completely protected by the fleet in the James river
The Confederates followed, but the check at Malvern
made their pursuit slow, and when the army again closed up with the Federals
the latter were found in possession of a strong position, commanded by the gunboats and defended by earthworks.
The contest now ceased, and General Lee
withdrew to the neighborhood of Richmond
's losses were great.
His loss in men was heavy, though not so large as that of the Confederates
His losses in material and supplies were far greater.
They were simply immense; but his loss in
prestige and morale
was greatest of all. His campaign was felt to be a complete failure, and this conviction became so general that all his efforts could not prevent the Federal Government
from withdrawing his army (we think wisely) from the James
to the Potomac
fought injudiciously at Cold Harbor.
After his defeat he selected skilfully his plan of retreat, but his mode of conducting that retreat has been most severely, and we believe justly, criticised.
Good fighting and the advantages afforded by the country enabled him to escape.
He chose an admirable position at Malvern Hill
, and made there a judicious and successful stand which saved his defeated army from destruction.
On the other hand Lee
won a great success.
With an army only four-fifths as numerous as his adversaries, and of which he had been in command only a little more than three weeks, he had driven McClellan
twenty miles from Richmond
, had broken up his depots and communications, and had compelled the splendid army that threatened the Confederate
capitol to fly for refuge to the protection of the gunboats in the river.
He had, indeed, nearly accomplished the destruction of this army.
On the 30th of June his admirable plans failed of their full results, only from the incapacity or want of energy of some of his subordinates.
On the next day, at Malvern Hill
, more, perhaps, might have been accomplished if he had himself used greater care and watchfulness to ensure concert of action in the attack.
As it was, he completely broke up the campaign against Richmond
, and having huddled up the Federal
army on the banks of the James
, left it to a July sun to force the speedy evacuation of the Peninsula
and the withdrawal of the enemy to the front of Washington
was new to his plan and new to the army he was thenceforth to lead, and for this reason this campaign is, in some respects, inferior to those that followed, especially to the great, the almost incomparable one of 1864; but, nevertheless, it will remain an ever-enduring monument of his military audacity and skill.
One of the best chapters in General Webb
's book is the last.
It is clear, temperate and judicious.
One of the worst is that on Malvern Hill
, which is disjointed and confused.
There are numerous smaller oversights, some of which show haste in preparation or careless proof-reading.
is several times called Whitney
(pages 82-134), Mechum's River
is called Mechanic's Run (page 122), R. H. Anderson
is erroneously put for J. R. Anderson
(page 96), Ellison's Mill is called Ellicott's Mill.
（Page 126.) Confederate brigades
are frequently spoken of as divisions
's brigade (page 132),
's brigade. (Page 156.) A. P. Hill
's report is misquoted, to make the same mistake on page 150, where Field
's and Pender
's brigades are turned into divisions.
I have noted no mistakes of the opposite kind.
On page 187, the Confederates
are spoken of as 70,000 in number (?), though here General Webb
may be giving McClellan
's estimate and not his own.