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[224] The Confederates, presuming that a rapid rise in the river would follow, resolved to seize the opportunity, throw their whole force upon our left wing, south of the Chickahominy, and cut it to pieces before aid could come from the other side. They supposed that they should have to deal with no other troops than those of Keyes, not being aware of the presence of Heintzelman's corps. Their dispositions were skilfully made. Longstreet and Hill, with thirty-two thousand men, were to advance along the Williamsburg road; luger, with sixteen thousand, was to move down the Charles City road, which runs southeast from Richmond, to attack our left flank; and Smith, with the same number, was to march north, along the Nine-Mile road, so as to turn our right flank and cover the Confederate left. Had these plans all been successfully executed, we could hardly have escaped an overwhelming defeat.

The columns started at daybreak on the 31st, and Hill, Longstreet, and Smith were in position to begin the attack at eight o'clock; but Huger did not appear at the appointed time and place. Hour after hour rolled away, and brought no tidings of him: his artillery had been immovably fixed in the mud, and the passage of his troops arrested. At noon, Hill and Longstreet resolved to make the attack without waiting for him. Accordingly, at about one o'clock they fell in overwhelming mass upon Casey's division. Some of his troops,thus suddenly assailed by greatly superior numbers, broke and fled in disorder; but the larger part stood their

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