Lee vs. McClellan: The First Campaign

By Clayton R. Newell

An exam of an enormous crusade among those generals that set the scene for the pending battle.

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With armed forces businesses forming on each side of the secession query in shut proximity, the 1st casualty was once no longer lengthy coming. at the evening of may well 22 deepest Thornsberry Bailey Brown and Lieutenant David Wilson, participants of the Grafton Guards, have been socializing in Pruntytown. As they lower back to Grafton, they met 3 males from the Letcher Guards, Privates David W. S. Knight, William Reese, and E. Glenn, who have been guarding the intersection the place the Northwestern Turnpike crossed the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. while the Letcher Guards known as for the 2 males to halt, Brown pulled a pistol and shot Knight’s correct earlobe off. Knight spoke back with a shot of “buck and ball” that placed 3 holes in Brown’s chest and killed him. As Wilson departed for Grafton, Glenn raised his musket to fireside, yet as he did so, Reese deflected the barrel and the shot hit the fleeing lieutenant at the heel of his boot. while Wilson mentioned the incident to his corporation commander, Latham made up our minds to defuse the location and circulation his males out of city. On may perhaps 24 the Grafton Guards, taking care to march round Fetterman, went to Valley Falls and stuck the teach for Wheeling the place they quickly turned corporation B of the second one Regiment Virginia Infantry. whilst Porterfield realized that the Grafton Guards have been leaving city, he took benefit of the placement and on could 25 occupied town. 17 whereas Unionists have been at paintings making political arrangements within the northwest, army arrangements have been additionally going ahead in Richmond. Lee have been commissioned a brigadier basic within the accomplice military with “control of the forces of the accomplice States in Virginia” given that may perhaps 14. Of the 4 attainable strains of Federal invasion, have been in quite good condition. Virginia’s forces have been bolstered at Harpers Ferry to dam a potential invasion from out of the Valley, and Lee had despatched Colonel Thomas J. Jackson, a arithmetic teacher at Virginia army Institute earlier than being commissioned into the defense force, to make sure the protection used to be so as. Lee had became the security alongside the rivers among Norfolk and Richmond over to Colonel Andrew Talcott, a former leader of engineers within the U. S. military and at one time Lee’s more suitable. Lee had self assurance that either the officials dependable and the assets to be had on these avenues have been enough to the duty handy. 18 yet with a turning out to be Federal military in Washington, only one hundred miles from Richmond, Lee observed a necessity to pay attention extra troops at Manassas Junction the place Letcher had tested a small strength prior to Lee assumed command. Manassas Junction was once of significant strategic significance since it used to be the place the Manassas hole Railroad branched from the Orange and Alexandria Railroad. The Manassas hole Railroad ran west from Manassas Junction over the Blue Ridge to Strasburg, therefore offering a speedy technique of relocating troops from the Valley and jap Virginia, whereas the Orange and Alexandria Railroad, operating south from the junction, may perhaps in all likelihood circulate forces into the center of Virginia.

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