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[131] movements, reported that his troops were marching southward. As the expediency of the junction of this large corps with the principal army was manifest, the object of the march could not be doubted. Accordingly, I determined to attack that army before it could receive so great an accession.

For this object, Huger's division, now reduced to three brigades,1 was called to the army from Petersburg. A. P. Hill's division was ordered to march by the left bank of the Chickahominy to Meadow's Bridge, and to remain on that side of the stream. General Smith was directed to place his division on the left of Magruder's — on the Mechanicsville turnpike — that he, the second officer of the army in rank, might be in position to command on the left. Longstreet's division was placed on the left of that of D. H. Hill, and Huger's in rear of the interval between the two last-named.

It was intended that Major-General Smith, with his own division and that of A. P. Hill, should move against the extreme right of the Federal army, and that Magruder's and Huger's, crossing by the New Bridge, should form between the left wing and the Chickahominy, while Longstreet's and D. H. Hill's divisions, their left thrown forward, assailed the right flank of the two corps on the Williamsburg road, and on the Richmond side of the stream. I supposed that the bridges and fords of the little river would furnish means of sufficient communication between the two parts of the Confederate army.

At night, when the major-generals were with me to receive instructions for the expected battle,

1 One had been transferred to Drury's Bluff by the Government.

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