At the same time as Yorktown, the Union advance into the interior forced the Confederates to abandon Norfolk (May 10) and to scuttle their formidable ironclad, the Virginia (see Monitor and Merrimack), thus opening up the James as far as Drewry's Bluff (9 m/14 km south of Richmond), where Confederate batteries repulsed them on May 15. McClellan soon had his army encamped on both sides of the Chickahominy River near Richmond: the 3d and 4th corps were on the south side; the 2d, 5th, and 6th on the north. Irvin McDowell's corps (now called the Army of the Rappahannock) was to march south from its position near Fredericksburg and unite with the right wing north of the Chickahominy. McClellan would then move against the inferior forces of Johnston. However, the brilliant campaign of Thomas (Stonewall) Jackson in the Shenandoah Valley caused the diversion of McDowell's corps from the army threatening Richmond.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.