James Ford Rhodes (18481927). History of the Civil War, 18611865 1917.
Federal armies effected the contemplated junction in my rear. By June 1, his safety was practically assured. Followed by the Union troops, he was successful in two engagements with them, after which they desisted from pursuit.
Jackson, so Lieutenant-Colonel Henderson wrote, fell as it were from the skies into the midst of his astonished foes, struck right and left before they could combine and defeated in detail every detachment which crossed his path.1 With an effective force of but 17,000 men he had within the space of a month won five battles, taken rich spoil and many prisoners, given Washington a scare and prevented 40,000 men from joining the Union Army before Richmond.2
McClellan seemed to be aware that, while Jackson was making havoc in the Shenandoah Valley, he should embrace the opportunity to strike at Johnston. On May 25, he telegraphed to the President, The time is very near when I shall attack Richmond. McClellan had an army of 100,000; Johnston had 63,000. Yet it is doubtful if McClellan would really have taken the initiative. He never reached his ideal completeness of preparation; while he overestimated the enemys force, he, at the same time, depreciated the energy of the Confederate commander. Richmond papers, he telegraphed on May 27, urge Johnston to attack now he has us away from gunboats. I think he is too able for that.3
Note 2. McDowells corps, after Franklins division had been sent to McClellan, is variously given at 35,000 or 40,000. Authorities: O. R., XI, Pt. I, III, XII, Pt. I, III; IV; Ropes, II; Lieut.-Col. Henderson, I; B. & L., II; McClellan; N. & H., V; Johnston; C. E. Norton, I, 253; See Correspondence between Lincoln and Carl Schurz, O. R., XII, Pt. III, 379, 398; General Meade, I, 270. [back]