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[243] The design was to be kept concealed from the enemy till the latest possible moment, and every instant of the precious interval was to be profitably employed. Orders were immediately telegraphed to Colonel Ingalls, quartermaster at the White House, to run the cars till the last moment, filling them with provisions and ammunition, to load all his wagons with subsistence and send them to Savage's Station, to forward as many supplies as possible to James River, and to destroy the rest. These commands were all obeyed, and so promptly and skilfully that nearly every thing was saved, and only a comparatively small amount of stores destroyed.1

To begin auspiciously the contemplated movement, it was necessary to keep the enemy in check on the left bank of the river as long as possible, to give time for the removal of the siege-guns and trains. The night following the 26th of June was a busy one on the right of our army, and the work of removal went on till after sunrise; but shortly before daylight it was sufficiently advanced to permit the withdrawal of the troops from Beaver Dam Creek. A new position was taken, in an arc of a circle, covering the approaches to our bridges of communication. The first line was composed of the divisions of Morell and Sykes, the former on

1 The Prince de Joinville says that a complete railway train, locomotive, tender, and cars, which had been left on the rails, was sent headlong over the broken bridge into the river. Nothing was left for the enemy but three siege-guns; and these were the only siege-guns he captured.

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