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strength on all the navigable waters, were closing in. The Confederate Government had even decided to take the extreme step of evacuating Richmond, hoping to prolong the struggle elsewhere. The official records had been packed. Davis had made all arrangements for the flight of his family. And from Drewry's Bluff, eight miles south of Richmond, the masts of the foremost Federal vessels could be seen coming up the James, where, on the eleventh, the Merrimac, having grounded, had been destroyed by her own commander.
But the General Assembly of Virginia, passionately seconded by the City Council, petitioned the Government to stand its ground "till not a stone was left upon another." Every man in Richmond who could do a hand's turn and who was not already in arms marched out to complete the defenses of the James at Drewry's Bluff. Senators, bankers, bondmen and free, merchants, laborers, and ministers of all religions, dug earthworks, hauled cannon, piled ammunition, or worked, wet to the waist, at the big boom that was to stop the ships and hold them under fire. The Government had changed its mind. Richmond was to be held to the last extremity. And the Southern women were as willing as the men.
In the midst of all this turmoil Lee calmly reviewed the situation. He saw that the Federal gunboats coming up the James were acting alone, as the disconnected vanguard of what should have been a joint advance, and that no army was yet moving to support them. He knew McClellan and Banks and read them like a book. He also knew Jackson, and decided to use him again in the Shenandoah Valley as a menace to Washington. Writing to him on the sixteenth of May, the very day McClellan reached White House, only twenty miles from Richmond, he said: "Whatever movement you make against Banks, do it speedily, and, if successful, drive him back towards the Potomac, and create the impression, as far as possible, that you design threatening that line." Moreover, out of his own scanty forces, he sent Jackson two excellent brigades. Thus, while the great Federal civilians who knew nothing practical of war were all agog about Richmond, a single point at one end of the semicircle, the great Confederate stratęgist was forging a thunderbolt to relieve the pressure on it by striking the Federal center so as to threaten Washington. The fundamental idea was a Fabian defensive at Richmond, a vigorous offensive in the Valley, to produce Federal
dispersion between these points and Washington; then rapid concentration against McClellan on the Chickahominy.
The unsupported Federal gunboats were stopped and turned back at the boom near Drewry's Bluff. McClellan, bent on besieging Richmond in due form, crawled cautiously about the intervening swamps of the oozy Chickahominy. McDowell, who could not advance alone, remained at Fredericksburg. Shields stood behind him, near Catlett's Station, to keep another eye on nervous Washington.
In the meantime Stonewall Jackson, still in the Shenandoah, had fought no battles since his tactical defeat at Kernstown on the twenty-third of March had proved such a pregnant strategic victory elsewhere. But late in April he had a letter from Lee, telling of the general situation and suggesting an attack on Banks. Banks, however, still had twenty thousand men at Harrisonburg, with twenty-five thousand more in or within call of the Valley. Jackson's complete grand total was less than eighteen thousand. The odds against him therefore exceeded five against two; and direct attack was out of the question. But he now began
his maneuvers anew and on a bolder scale than ever. He had upset the Federal strategy at Kernstown, when there were less than eight thousand Confederates in the Valley. What might he not do with ten thousand more? His wonderful Valley Campaign, famous forever in the history of war, gives us the answer.
He had five advantages over Banks. First, his own expert knowledge and genius for war, backed by a dauntless character. Banks was a very able man who had worked his way up from factory hand to Speaker of the House of Representatives and Governor of Massachusetts. But he had neither the knowledge, genius, nor character required for high command; and he owed his present position more to his ardor as a politician than to his ability as a general. Jackson's second advantage was his own and his army's knowledge of the country for which they naturally fought with a loving zeal which no invaders could equal. The third advantage was in having Turner Ashby's cavalry. These were horsemen born and bred, who could make their way across country as easily as the "footy" Federals could along the road. In answer to a peremptory order a Federal cavalry commander could only explain: "I can't catch them.
They leap fences and walls like deer. Neither our