James Ford Rhodes (18481927). History of the Civil War, 18611865 1917.
of the Chickahominy led him to form the plan of striking at the Union force on that side of the river. He reënforced Jackson, who was still in the Shenandoah Valley, and asked him to move toward Richmond in order to join in the attack. Jackson, leaving his army fifty miles away, with orders to continue their swift and stealthy march, rode rapidly to Richmond, where at midday on June 23 he met Lee, Longstreet, D. H. Hill and A. P. Hill in council. Lee set forth his plan of battle and assigned to each of his generals the part he should play. Jackson said that he would be ready to begin his attack on the morning of the 26th.
Fitz-John Porter, commanding the Fifth corps,1 held the Union position on the north side of the Chickahominy [the right wing] where he protected the line of communication with the base of supplies at White House. At him and his communications Lee struck.
Through unavoidable delays, Jackson was half a day late. A. P. Hill waited until three oclock in the afternoon of June 26 for Jackson to perform his part; then fearing longer delay, he crossed the river and came directly in front of Porter, bringing on a battle in which the Confederates met with a bloody repulse.
McClellan went to Porters headquarters in the afternoon or early evening, while the battle was still on. They knew that the attack had come from Lees immediate command and also that Jackson was near, would unite with the other Confederate forces and probably give battle on the morrow. On returning to his own headquarters on the south side of the river, McClellan made up his mind that Porters position was untenable and ordered him to withdraw to ground that had been selected east of Gainess Mill, where he could protect the
Note 1. A corps commander named by McClellan on the authorization of the President May 9. O. R., XI, Pt. III, 154. [back]