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[153] corps, summoned from the Valley, to not far from 70,000 men. In order to mask this concentration, Whiting's division, consisting of Hood's Texas brigade and his own, had been sent off from Richmond to Jackson; to whom also the brigade of Lawton had been ordered up from the South. When all things were ripe, Jackson moved, by order, rapidly and secretly from tie Valley to Ashland, facing our extreme right, whence he was directed to advance1 so as to flank our right, holding Mechanicsville. Moving on at 3 next morning,2 he was directed to connect With Gen. Branch, immediately south of the Chickahominy, who was to cross that stream and advance on Mechanicsville; while Gen. A. P. Hill, lower down, was to cross near Meadow Bridge so soon as Branch's movement was discovered, and move directly upon Mechanicsville, where on the Rebel batteries on the southern bluffs of the Chickahominy were to open; Longostreet's division following in support of Hill, while D. H. Hill's in like manner supported Jackson; thus only Huger's and Magruder's divisions were left in front of our left and center, immediately before Richmond.

Jackson was unable to reach Ashland quite so soon as had been anticipated ; so that A. P. Hill did not cross the stream to attack us till 3 P. M.3 His advance had been discovered three hours before; so that our pickets were called in before it, and the regiment and battery holding Mechanicsville fell back, fighting, on a strong position across Beaver Dam creek. Here Gen. McCall's Pennsylvania Reserves, which had recently been sent down to reenforce McClellan, and had never till now been in action, were strongly posted on advantageous ground, supported by Morell's division and Sykes's regulars, the whole forming Fitz-John Porter's corps of about 27,000 men.


Advancing rapidly and resolutely, in the face of a destructive fire, which they could not effectively return, the leading brigades of A. P. Hill's, and ultimately of D. H. Hill's and Longstreet's divisions, attacked our position and attempted to turn our left, but were repulsed with fearful carnage. Jackson being vainly expected to arrive and assail our right, it was not turned; and night fell on a decided and animating success of our mainly green soldiers, though the fighting did not cease till after dark, and the Rebels remained in force not far from our front. Our total loss in

1 June 25.

2 June 26.

3 June 26.

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