was sent with the two brigades nearest, Kershaw
's and Semmes
's, to support the rear-guard.
He met the enemy near and beyond Fort Magruder, made his dispositions with prompt skill and courage, and quickly drove the Federal
troops from the field, taking a piece of artillery.
At sunset a rearguard of two brigades of Longstreet
's division-Anderson's and Pryor
's, commanded by General Anderson
-occupied Fort Magruder and four of the little redoubts on its right, and two of those on the left.
At daybreak on the 5th, Smith
's division and the baggage-train marched in a heavy rain and deep mud. An hour or two later, the enemy appeared again in front of Fort Magruder, and opened a light cannonade, and a brisk fire of skirmishers upon Anderson
Both gradually increased, and at ten o'clock Wilcox
's and A. P. Hill
's brigades were sent to the assistance of the troops engaged, and, as the Federal
force on the field continued to increase, Pickett
's and Colston
's brigades also reenforced ours.
At noon the fighting was reported by Longstreet
to be so sharp, that D. H. Hill
's division, which had marched several miles, was ordered back to Williamsburg
, and I returned myself; for at ten o'clock, when the action had lasted more than four hours, there seemed to be so little vigor in the enemy's conduct, that I became convinced that it was a mere demonstration, intended to delay our march — that the Federal
army might pass us by water-and had ridden forward to join the leading troops.
At three o'clock General Longstreet
reported that the enemy was threatening to turn his left.
I therefore directed