Sunday, September 26, 2010

Lee Takes Command

With Joseph E. Johnston badly wounded in the fighting at Seven Pines, Jefferson Davis ordered Lee to take command of the Army of Northern Virginia. Aggressive in tactics and ability, within a month Lee struck McClellan’s Army of the Potomac. Leaving a small force to cover Richmond, combining forces with Jackson, who came to join him from the Shenandoah Valley, Lee overwhelmed the wing of the much larger Federal army. In a series of hard fights known as the Seven Days Battles, Lee drove the Federal forces from their positions around Richmond causing McClellan to rapidly withdrawal his army. Through his aggressive action and through the hard fighting spirit that he instilled in his army Lee became an instant hero to the people of the South and his soldiers began to develop an almost mystical belief in him as their leader, as well as a belief in their own abilities to fight.