having crossed above, a general charge dislodged the enemy and completed the success which Hill
had so brilliantly inaugurated.
The bridges of Beaver Dam
having been restored, Jackson
, reinforced by the division of D. I. Hill
, took a large swing to the left to turn the next stronghold of the enemy between Gaines' mill
and new Cold Harbor, while A. P. Hill
, supported by Longstreet
, moved by the north bank of the Chickahominy
to take that position in front.
This direct march brought the Confederates
about noon on the 27th within sight of the now desperate foe. A range of hills behind Ponhite creek, and covering New Bridge
, which was the remaining communication between McClellan
's divided forces, had been fortified in the most elaborate manner.
Three lines of infantry in rifle-pits occupied the rising slope, and the ridge was crowned with field-pieces so posted as to sweep every approach.
The assault must be made through an opening four hundred yards in width, and the natural difficulties were increased by abattis along the whole extent of the line, while the advancing columns were exposed to a sweeping fire from the heavy batteries on the south side of the Chickahominy
Desperate seemed the attempt, but Hill
formed his columns and prepared again to bear the brunt of battle.
At two o'clock Jackson
, who should before now have appeared in rear and flank of Cold Harbor, was still missing.
Again such trivial cause as the bad hearing of a courier had destroyed the success of a grand combination and given the enemy time and notice.
Every moment seemed an hour while standing on the brink of that desperate venture and listening in vain for the guns that should tell of Jackson
At last General Lee
decides that time is even more important than cooperation, and Hill
's brave division is again launched forth alone to contend with half of McClellan
's army, sent in with admirable vigor, the troops pass the abattis, leap the ravine, rush over the intermediate lines upon the slope, and scramble breathless into the very mouths of the guns that crown the ridge.
For two mortal hours of agony this fearful work continues.
Again and again these superb troops clamber up and dash themselves against the sides of this artificial Gibraltar
, and each time they recoil with shattered ranks from the determined fire of the enemy.--“Hill
's single division fought,” says General Lee
, “with the impetuous courage for which that officer and his troops are distinguished.”
Still the incessant shower of missiles from the forts on the eminence, still the crash and bustle of the enfilading batteries across the stream.
The slaughter has been terrific; some of Hill