Excerpt from Reports of the Operations of the Army of Northern Virginia, Vol. 1 of 2: From June 1862, to and Including the Battle at Fredericksburg, Dec. 13, 1862
General S. Cooper, Adjutant and Inspector General, Richmond, Va.
Sir: After the battle of Seven Pines, t... he Federal army, under General mcclellan, preparatory to an advance upon Richmond, pro ceeded to fortify its position on the Chickahominy, and to perfect the. Communications with its base of supplies, near the head of York river. Its left was established south of the Chickahominy, between White Oak Swamp and New Biidge, defended by a line of strong works, ac cess to which, except by a few narrow roads,.was Obstructed by felling the dense forests in front. These roads were commanded for a great distance by the heavy guns in the fortifications. The right wing lay north of the Chickahominy, extending beyond Mechanicsville, and the approaches from the southside were strongly defended byoentrench 'ments. Our army was around Richmond. The divisions of Huger and Magruder, supported by those of Longstreet and D. H. Hill; in front of the enemy's left, and that of A. P. Hill extending from Ma gruder's left beyond Meadow Bridge. The command of General Jackson, including Ewell's division, Operating in the Shenandoah valw ley, had succeed: d in diverting the armypf mcdowell at Fredericks burg from uniting with that of mcclellan. To render this diversion more decided, and effectually mask'his withdrawal from the Valley at the proper tune, Jackson, after the defeat of Fremont and Shields, was reinforced by Whiting's 'division, composed of Hood's Texas brigade, and his own, under Colonel Law, fromdiichmond, and that of Lawton, from the South. The intention of the enemy seemed to be to attack Richmondby regular approaches. The strength of his left wing rendered a' direct assualt Injudicious, if not impracticable. It was therefore determined to construct defensive lines so as to ena ble a part of the army to defend the city, and leave the other part free to cross the Chickahominy and Operate on the north bank. By sweeping down the, river on that side, and threatening his communica tions with York river, it was thought that the enemy would be com pelled to retreat or give battle out of his entrenchments. The plan was submitted to His Excellency the President, who was repeatedly on the field in the course of its execution.
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