Nonfiction > James Ford Rhodes > History of the Civil War, 1861–1865 > Page 214
James Ford Rhodes (1848–1927).  History of the Civil War, 1861–1865  1917.
Page 214
Hooker’s position and superiority of numbers.” 1 Indeed, if a study of efficiency is desired, it may be found in the Confederate camp. Lee and Jackson considered an attack on Sedgwick in the plain of Fredericksburg but abandoned this as impracticable. 2 But they were bent on an attack at some point, for they had no idea of an “inglorious flight.” On the night of May 1, sitting on two old cracker boxes, they had their last conference. Lee had “resolved to endeavor to turn Hooker’s right flank and gain his rear, leaving a force in front to hold him in check and conceal the movement”; the execution of this plan he intrusted to Jackson. 3 He could not more strikingly have evinced his contempt for the generalship of his adversary, as, in the presence of superior numbers, he was willing to divide his own force.  55
  Early on the morning of May 2, Jackson, “the great flanker,” started on a march which took him part way around the Union Army to carry out the design of attacking its right, which was held by Howard and his Eleventh Corps. Jackson had 31,700 men; Lee was left with 13,000. Lee had given to his lieutenant two-thirds of his infantry and four-fifths of his artillery, retaining the rest in order to demonstrate against Hooker’s centre. 4 “Never can I forget,” wrote Dr. McGuire, “the eagerness and intensity of Jackson on that march to Hooker’s rear. His face was pale, his eyes flashing. Out from his thin compressed lips came the terse command, Press forward, press forward!” 5 The commander in dingy clothes and wearing an old cap, the men ragged and unkempt, bearing tattered flags, had the appearance of an “undisciplined rabble”; yet steadily
Note 1. Lee’s report, O. R., XXV, Pt. 1,798. [back]
Note 2. Lieut.-Col. Henderson, II, 512. [back]
Note 3. Lee’s report, O. R., XXV, Pt. 1,798. [back]
Note 4. J. Bigelow Jr., 273. [back]
Note 5. Russell; III. [back]


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