James Ford Rhodes (1848–1927). History of the Civil War, 1861–1865. 1917.
|corps and the promise of the rest of this body, 35,000 to 40,000 strong, who were now opposite Fredericksburg preparatory to joining him by an overland march.
| Shortly previous to this, directly after the destruction of the Merrimac, an advance of the Monitor and a number of gunboats up the James alarmed Richmond. Fearing the fate of New Orleans, people packed their trunks and crowded the railroad trains in their flight from the city. The government archives were packed for removal to Lynchburg and Columbia. The families of the Confederate cabinet officers fled to their homes and Davis sent his wife and children to Raleigh. He himself received baptism at his house and the rite of confirmation in St. Paul’s Church; he appointed by proclamation a day for solemn prayer. The Richmond Examiner, a bitter critic of Davis’s acts, spoke of him as “standing in a corner telling his beads and relying on a miracle to save the country.” Had McClellan realized the importance of celerity as did Grant and Farragut, he would have made an attack upon Richmond in coöperation with the Navy. He had a good chance to take it but in case of failure he had behind him the authority of the President who had written to him that he must strike a blow. 1
| While McClellan dallied before Richmond, Robert E. Lee 2 planned, and Stonewall Jackson conducted, a series of manœuvres in the course of which, playing on Lincoln’s anxiety for Washington, they succeeded in bringing to naught the plan for the reënforcement by McDowell of the Army of the Potomac. On May 8, Jackson defeated a detachment of Frémont’s, sending this word to Richmond, “God blessed our arms with victory.” Having bigger game in sight than
|Note 1. The Monitor and gunboats were repulsed in their attack on the batteries at Drewry’s Bluff, eight miles below Richmond [May 15]. [back]
|Note 2. Lee at this time was military adviser to President Davis. [back]