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[143] attack our position in front, while Gen. Huger's, on his right, was to move down the Charles City road and come in on our left flank; and Gen. Gustavus W. Smith was to move out on the New Bridge road to Old Tavern, taking thence the Ninemile road to Fair Oaks Station, and so come in on our right. The entire Rebel army defending Richmond — some 40,000 to 50,000 strong — was either engaged in or supporting this movement, with Jefferson Davis, Gen. Lee, and other magnates, observing, directing, animating, and giving counsel.

Seven Pines.

The attacking columns were to move at day-break ;1 but the tremendous rains of the preceding afternoon and night had so flooded the earth as to render the moving of artillery exceedingly difficult; the infantry often wading through mud and water two or three feet deep. Huger's flank movement had not yet culminated, when Hill, who had for some time waited impatiently in our immediate front, gave, at 1 P. M., the signal to his division to advance and attack.

Casey's division was surprised as well as largely outnumbered. Having been scarcely two days in. this position, their defensive works were

1 May 31.

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