Welcome to THE MAKING OF A NATION – American history in VOA Special English. In any war, the enemy's capital city is an important target. To capture the enemy's capital usually means victory. In the American Civil War, the North hoped for a quick victory by capturing the southern capital at Richmond, Virginia. Northern forces were strong enough. There were about one hundred fifty thousand Union soldiers in and around Washington. General George McClellan led this Army of the Potomac. It was the biggest, best-trained and best-equipped of the Union armies. This week in our series, Larry West and Tony Riggs report on McClellan's move against Richmond. For the first year of the Civil War, the Army of the Potomac did not fight. General McClellan kept making excuses for his failure to act. He had a plan, he said. And he would not move until he was sure his men were ready. McClellan's plan was to put his army on boats in the Potomac River. They would sail down the river to where it emptied into the Chesapeake Bay. Then he would land the boats on the coast of Virginia, east of Richmond.
President Abraham Lincoln wanted to capture the Confederate capital. But he did not like the idea of moving all of McClellan's men. That would leave the city of Washington without protection. McClellan tried to calm Lincoln's fears. He said that as soon as he marched toward Richmond, any Confederate soldiers near Washington would withdraw. They would be needed to defend their own capital. The Army of the Potomac began to move on March seventeenth, eighteen sixty-two. Within two weeks, more than fifty thousand had reached Fort Monroe, southeast of Richmond. They were equipped with one hundred big guns and tons of supplies. Day by day, the Union force at Fort Monroe grew larger. McClellan had planned to move quickly to Yorktown, then push on to Richmond. He would move along the finger of land between the York River and the James River. He soon learned, however, that he could not move as quickly as planned. Heavy spring rains had turned the dirt roads into rivers of mud. McClellan's men could push through. But there was no way they could bring their big guns. McClellan decided to wait. He did not want to attack Yorktown without artillery.
President Lincoln was not pleased. He sent a message to McClellan. "You must strike a blow," Lincoln said. "You must act." But still McClellan delayed. By the time his artillery had arrived and was in place, Confederate troops had withdrawn. They moved to the woods outside Williamsburg. McClellan chased them. For the first time, his army went into battle. The fighting was strange. The woods were so thick that the two sides could not often see each other. Soldiers fired at the flash of gunpowder, at noises, anything that moved. Their aim was good enough. About four thousand soldiers were killed. In his reports to Washington, McClellan claimed great victories at Yorktown and Williamsburg. Yet he was worried. He believed the Confederate force around Richmond was much larger than his. He demanded more men. The Confederate force was, in fact, much smaller than the Union force. But it was deployed in a way to make it seem much larger.
The trick fooled McClellan. By the middle of May, eighteen sixty-two, his army was only fifteen kilometers from Richmond. Still, he did not attack. He continued to wait for more men and equipment. Confederate President Jefferson Davis was worried. He knew the Confederate army was smaller than the Union army. Davis' military adviser, General Robert E. Lee, offered a plan. Lee proposed that General Stonewall Jackson lead his army up Virginia's Shenandoah Valley. The North would see the move as a threat to Washington. Union troops would be kept near Washington, instead of being sent to Richmond. President Davis agreed. Orders were sent to Jackson. Stonewall Jackson was one of the South's best generals. He was a forceful leader. And he could make his men march until they dropped. He got the name "Stonewall" at the Battle of Bull Run in the summer of eighteen sixty-one. Southern soldiers were withdrawing. A Confederate officer tried to stop them. He urged them to follow Jackson's example, to stand and fight. He shouted, "There stands Jackson -- like a stone wall."
General Jackson faced three large Union forces in and around the Shenandoah Valley. Yet he struck hard and fast, and soon had control of the valley's main towns. His campaign is still studied at military schools around the world. It is considered an excellent example of how to move troops quickly to where they are most needed. Jackson's raids produced the exact effect Robert E. Lee had wanted. Everyone in Washington feared an immediate attack on the city. Soldiers were hurried to the capital from Baltimore and other nearby cities. And President Lincoln sent thousands of troops to chase Jackson in the Shenandoah Valley, instead of helping McClellan at Richmond. The Union army outside Richmond was deployed on either side of the Chickahominy River. The Chickahominy was not a big river. It could be crossed easily at several places. While McClellan waited to attack the Confederate capital, heavy rains began to fall. The little river began to rise. The commander of Confederate forces in Richmond saw this as a chance to smash a large part of McClellan's army. The flooding river would soon cut the Union force completely in two. When that happened, the Confederates would attack. They expected to destroy at least half of McClellan's army. The plan seemed good. And after the first few hours of battle, the Confederates were close to victory. But one bridge remained over the Chickahominy River. Union soldiers were able to cross it. The Confederates were forced to withdraw to their earlier positions.
No ground was gained. And more than eleven thousand men were killed or wounded. Among the wounded was the commander of all Confederate forces, General Joe Johnston. General Robert E. Lee would take his place. Lee wasted no time. He wanted to push the Union army far away from Richmond. First, however, he wanted more information about his enemy. He sent a young officer -- Jeb Stuart -- to get it. Stuart set off with more than a thousand men on horseback. Theirs was a wild ride around the edge of the Union army. When they reported back three days later, General Lee knew exactly where he would attack. It would be the first in a series of battles known as the Seven Days Campaign. Lee took a big chance. He moved most of his men into position to attack what he now knew was the weak, right side of the Union line. He left only a few thousand men to defend Richmond.
He hoped the Union commander, McClellan, would be fooled by this plan. For if McClellan discovered how few men were left behind, he could smash through easily and capture the city. With the help of Stonewall Jackson's army, Lee's plan worked. McClellan was fooled. And after a day of fierce fighting, he was forced to withdraw from the area. Lee chased McClellan for a while. They clashed at such places as Mechanicsville, White Oak Swamp, and finally Malvern Hill. The South won the Seven Days Campaign. The threat to Richmond was ended. The Confederacy was saved. But victory came at a terrible price. Twenty thousand Confederate soldiers were killed or wounded. As both the North and South were learning quickly, the Civil War was becoming more costly than anyone had imagined.
1.be equipped with 装备有；安置着
You will be equipped with all the weapons you need.
2.in fact 实际上；其实
In fact, those people have been promoted.
3.continue to 持续到；不断
Continue to ask for feedback on your work.
4.far away from 远离；离......很远
Michael sat down as far away from her as possible.
总统亚伯拉罕·林肯想要占领联盟国的首都，但他不想调动麦克莱伦的所有兵力，因为这将使华盛顿市失去保护 。麦克莱伦试图平息林肯的恐惧 。他说，一旦他向里士满前进，任何在华盛顿附近的联盟国士兵都会撤退 。他们需要保卫自己的首都 。波托马克军队于1862年3月17日开始行动 。两周内，超过5万人到达里士满东南部的门罗堡 。他们装备了100支大炮和大量补给 。门罗堡的联邦军力量日复一日地壮大起来 。麦克莱伦计划迅速搬到约克镇，然后继续向里士满推进 。他会沿着约克河和詹姆斯河之间的狭长地域行进 。然而，他很快就明白，他不能像计划的那样迅速行动，春雨把土路变成了泥泞的河流 。麦克莱伦的士兵可以通过，但却无法带上他们的大炮 。麦克莱伦决定等待 。他不想在没有大炮的情况下攻击约克城 。
总统林肯很不高兴，他给麦克莱伦捎去口信，“你必须出击，”林肯说 。“必须采取行动 。”但是，麦克莱伦仍在拖延 。当他的炮兵到达并就位时，联盟国军队已经撤退了 。他们搬到了威廉斯堡郊外的树林里 。麦克莱伦追上他们，他的军队第一次参战 。战斗打得很奇怪，树木太过稠密，两边经常看不见对方 。士兵们向火药的闪光、嘶喊声和任何移动的物体开火 。他们攻击的目标很好，大约有4000名士兵丧生 。麦克莱伦在给华盛顿的报告中称，他在约克镇和威廉斯堡取得了巨大的胜利 。但他很担心，他认为，里士满周围的联盟国军队比他的部队规模更大 。他需要更多的士兵 。事实上，联盟国的军队比联邦军的人数少得多 。但它的部署方式，让它看起来显得人数更多 。
这个把戏骗到了麦克莱伦，到了1862年5月中旬，他的军队距离里士满只有15公里 。不过，他没有进攻 。他继续等待更多的士兵和装备来支援 。联盟国总统杰斐逊·戴维斯很担心 。他知道联盟国军队比联邦军人数少，戴维斯的军事顾问罗伯特·E·李将军提出了一个计划 。李将军建议斯通沃尔·杰克逊将军率领他的军队，向弗吉尼亚州的谢南多厄河谷进发 。北方将把此举视为对华盛顿的威胁 。联邦部队将被留在华盛顿附近，而不是被派往里士满 。总统戴维斯同意了，并将命令发送给杰克逊 。斯通沃尔·杰克逊是南方最好的将军之一，他是一名强有力的领导人，他可以让他的士兵一直行军，直到他们倒下 。他在1861年夏天的布尔朗战役中获得了“石墙”的称号，南方士兵正在撤退，一名联盟国军官试图阻止他们 。他敦促他们以杰克逊为榜样，站起来战斗 。他喊道：“杰克逊站在那儿——就像一道石墙 。”
杰克逊将军在谢南多厄河谷内和周边，面对三支强大的联邦部队 。然而，他的攻势迅猛，很快控制了山谷的主要城镇 。世界各地的军事学校目前仍在研习他的作战方针，这个例子很好地说明了，如何快速地将部队转移到最需要的地方 。杰克逊突袭的效果，正是罗伯特·E·李将军想要的 。华盛顿的每个人都担心这座城市会遭到突然的袭击，士兵们从巴尔的摩和附近的其他城市赶往首都 。总统林肯派出数千人在谢南多厄河谷追击杰克逊，而不是援助里士满的麦克莱伦 。里士满城外的联邦军部署在奇克哈默尼河两岸，这条河并不大，在几个地方都可以轻易渡河 。麦克莱伦等待袭击联盟国首都时，天降大雨 。小河开始上涨，部署于里士满的联盟国部队指挥官认为，这是一次粉碎麦克莱伦大部分军力的机会 。洪水很快就会把联邦军一分为二，那时同盟军将发起进攻 。他们预计将摧毁麦克莱伦至少一半的军力 。计划看起来不错，战斗开始数小时后，联盟国几乎取得了胜利 。但奇克哈默尼河上还有一座桥 。联邦士兵们能跨过它，同盟军被迫撤退到他们先前所在的位置 。
没有取得任何进展，伤亡人数达到一万一千多名，伤员中有所有联盟国部队的指挥官乔·约翰斯顿将军 。罗伯特·E·李将军将接替他的职位 。李将军没有浪费时间，他想让联邦军撤离里士满 。但他想先了解有关敌军的更多信息，于是他派出一个年轻的军官杰布·斯图尔特，去获取敌情 。斯图尔特和一千多名骑兵出发，他们在联邦军队的边缘狂奔 。三天后他们报告了军情，李将军确切地知道了他该发动进攻的位置 。这将是著名的“七日战役”中一系列战斗的第一战 。李将军抓住了一个大好时机，他把大多数兵力调去攻击他获悉的联邦军防线右侧的薄弱部分，而只留下几千人保卫里士满 。
他希望联邦指挥官麦克莱伦会被这个计划愚弄，因为如果麦克莱伦发现剩下的人数过少，他就能轻易地突破并占领这座城市 。在斯通沃尔·杰克逊军队的帮助下，李将军的计划奏效了 。麦克莱伦果然上当了 。经过一天的激烈奋战，他被迫从该地区撤军 。李将军追赶了一会撤退的麦克莱伦，他们先后在梅卡尼克斯维尔、白桦沼泽地，最后在莫尔文山发生激战 。南方联盟国军队获得了七日战役的胜利 。里士满的威胁解除，联盟国获救了 。但赢得胜利的代价是惨重的，联盟国有2万名士兵伤亡 。由于南北双方都在快速学习，内战的代价超出了任何人的想象 。