Saturday, June 23, 2012

Lee Plans his Attack

In his Ride around McClellan a few days before, Stuart had begun by scouting McClellan's right flank for Lee. He had discovered that McClellan's right flank was in the air, there was nothing to prevent Lee from moving down and striking the Federals lengthwise, where they could be routed and defeated. In the Shenandoah Valley Jackson had just gloriously concluded his Shenandoah Valley Campaign with the double victories of Cross Keys and Port Republic, leaving him free to move to join Lee around Richmond. That is just what Lee was planning on doing. Jackson would come down at strike McClellan's right flank, combining with the Army of Northern Virginia to throw him back in defeat. Lee met with his subordinates on June 23rd to discuss the details. Jackson rode ahead of his advancing column to attend this meeting. In the end, it was decided that 65,000 Confederate troops would concentrate on 30,000 Federals. However, this plan would not be without danger. Lee would be weakening portions of his line which, if McClellan struck hard would crumble, leaving the way open to Richmond. He would only have 25,000 men to resist 60,000 Federals. But Lee knew if he did not risk anything he would not gain anything, so he went ahead with his plan to crush McClellan's army.


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