CONFEDERATE STATES ARMY, VIRGINIA--GAINES'S MILLS OR FIRST COLD HARBOR, MALVERN HILL, SECOND MANASSAS, BOONSBORO, GAP, AND SHARPSBURG, OR ANTIETAM
AFTER the battle of Seven Pines, General R. E. Lee was assigned to the command of the Army of Northern Virginia. He immediately commenced to form plans by which to free the Confederate Capital from the proximity of the enemy. His first move was to send General Whiting's Division to Staunton, as a ruse, to join General Jackson; to order the latter then to march toward Richmond, or down the north side of the Chickahominy, upon the right flank of McClellan; and, when Jackson was sufficiently near the enemy, to throw across this stream the main body of the Confederate Army at, and in the vicinity of Meadow bridge, and, finally, with his united forces to make a general assault upon the Federals. I happened to have been made cognizant of the foregoing plan through General Whiting, just prior to or during the march to Staunton. I mention the source from which I obtained this information, as it might seem strange that a Brigadier General should have knowledge of the secret purposes of such a movement, in operations of so great importance.
My brigade having been reinforced by Hampton's Legion, under the command of Colonel Geary, moved by railway about the middle of June, via Lynchburg, to Charlottesville, and thence marched to Staunton. Upon our arrival at this place,