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[253] slopes of Malvern Hill. It is an open plateau, and extends about a mile and a half in width and three-quarters of a mile in depth. On the highest ground there is an old-fashioned Virginia house, of brick, in one story. Trees standing thickly supply it with grateful shade. Behind the house, the ground falls away as abruptly as at the Highlands of the Hudson, and the delighted eye ranges over miles and miles of level country, profusely clothed with an almost tropical vegetation, and watered by the James, the Appomattox, and Turkey Creek. It is a scene of rare loveliness and peace; and gunboats, seemingly sleeping at their moorings on the gleaming river, half seen through the screen of foliage, added on that day to the air of repose which brooded over the whole landscape. But no stronger contrast could be presented than by the scene in front. On those broad slopes, in triple concentric lines, with the guns in the intervals and on the higher ground in the rear, the weary Army of the Potomac was rapidly ranging itself. The general commanding, and other general officers, were making the circuit of the position and superintending the movements of the troops, and, as by magic, the great army came into the order of battle. Cavalry escorts, the lancers with their red pennons fluttering beneath the glittering points of their weapons, gave animation to the scene.

The line taken up by our army was something more than the half of a circle. The left rested on the hill near the river, and the line curved round the hill and backwards, through a wooded country,

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