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[121] General Hill to move toward Longstreet's left, and rode to the field myself, to take command whenever more than Longstreet's division should be engaged on the Confederate side.

Until ten o'clock the fighting had been limited to the fire of artillery and skirmishers upon Fort Magruder, returned by the eight field-pieces belonging to General R. H. Anderson's command. That officer, observing that a division1 of Federal troops had entered the wood a thousand yards to the right of Fort Magruder, placed Wilcox's brigade before it; being further reinforced by A. P. Hill's and Pickett's brigades, he determined to attack the Federal division, and formed the newly-arrived brigades and a part of Pryor's from the redoubts in rear, on Wilcox's right, and ordered all to advance. This was done with such regularity and vigor that the Federal troops were driven back, after a spirited contest of several hours, into the open fields in rear, west and southwest of the point where the Warwick road enters this open ground — the southeastern part of that in which Williamsburg stands. The contest was just leaving the wood and entering the open ground when I first saw it. Here Colston's brigade joined the Confederate, and Kearney's division the Federal troops engaged. But in the open ground the Confederates were more rapidly successful than in the earlier part of the affair, and drove the enemy into the forest on the east of the scene of conflict. When the combatants were near it, I cautioned General Longstreet against permitting his division to attempt to enter the forest, but to be content to hold the open field,

1 Hooker's.

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