the Maryland Campaign
The Seven Days battles saved the Confederate capital for the time being, but McClellan's large army was still entrenched only twenty miles from the city. Lee refused to accept that his own army had to remain inert in the outskirts of Richmond to guard against another Union thrust. He intended to take the war northward, to enlarge the area of operations, and to confront another Union force, the newly created Army of Virginia under Maj. Gen. John Pope, which was hovering north of the Rappahannock River. This move would shift the focus of the war away from Richmond for some time to come.
Lee had to arrange for the city's defense while he was away. He ordered increased work on its growing ring of fortifications. The southern approaches were strengthened, more guns were ordered for Drewry's Bluff, and works at Petersburg, an important rail junction thirty miles south of the capital, were also pushed forward.1
Lee's newly appointed chief engineer, Col. Jeremy Francis Gilmer, began to inspect the lines and suggest improvements. "The greater anxiety is felt for pressing forward defensive works now," Gilmer wrote his wife, "because a large part of our forces in & about Richmond have been sent northward to whip Pope, leaving the reduced forces here in need of aid from the much abused pick and shovel." When Lee shifted his army to the Rappahannock River, he left all of his engineer officers behind to see to the defenses of the capital. Only one officer returned to field duty by August 25, on the eve of the campaign against Pope.2
Much work was done at Chaffin's Bluff that summer and fall as Lee ordered improvements on the Outer Line of the city defenses. Two brigades and all of A. P. Hill's division worked on the fortifications there in late July and early August until those troops were shifted to field duty elsewhere. Maj. Gen. Gustavus W. Smith took charge of the Richmond defenses on August 30, while Lt. Col. William Proctor Smith took over from William Elzey Harrison as engineer in charge of the works at Chaffin's Bluff. Re-