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[255] to receive us, and, from the black masses of his forces, it was evident that it had been heavily reenforced, and that another whole corps d'armee had been brought up to contest the fortunes of the night. Line after line of battle was formed. It was evident that his heaviest columns were now being thrown against Hill's small command, and it might have been supposed that he would only be satisfied with its annihilation. The loss here on our side was terrible.

The situation being hopeless for any further pursuit of the fugitive enemy, who had now brought up such overwhelming forces, Gen. Hill retired slowly. At this moment, seeing their adversary retire, the most vociferous cheers arose along the whole Yankee line. They were taken up in the distance by the masses which for miles and miles beyond were supporting McClellan's front. It was a moment when the heart of the stoutest commander might have been appalled. General Hill's situation was now as desperate as it well could be, and required a courage and presence of mind to retrieve it which the circumstances that surrounded him were not well calculated to inspire. His command had fought for five or six hours without reenforcements. All his reserves had been brought up in the action. Wilcox's brigade, which had been almost annihilated, was re-forming in the rear.

Riding rapidly to the position of this brigade, Gen. Hill brought them, by great exertions, up to the front to check the advance of this now confident, cheering enemy. Catching the spirit of their commander, the brave but jaded men moved up to the front, replying to the enemy's cheers with shouts and yells. At this demonstration, which the enemy, no doubt, supposed signified heavy reenforcements, he stopped his advance. It was now about half-past 10 o'clock in the night. The enemy had been arrested, and the fight--one of the most remarkable, long-contested, and gallant ones that has yet occurred on our lines — was concluded with the achievement of the field under the most trying circumstances, which the enemy, with the most overpowering numbers brought up to reenforce him, had not succeeded in reclaiming.

The battle of Monday night was fought exclusively by Gen. A. P. Hill, and the forces under his command. Gen. Magruder's did not come up until eleven o'clock at night, after the fight had been concluded. By orders from Gen. Lee, Magruder moved upon and occupied the battleground; Gen. Hill's command being in a condition of prostration from their long and toilsome fight, and suffering in killed and wounded, it was proper they should be relieved by the occupation of the battle-ground by a fresh corps de armee. In the long and bitter conflict which Gen. Hill had sustained with the enemy, he had driven him about a mile and a half; and at the conclusion of the battle, although he had retired somewhat, he still held the ground from which, in the early part of the action he had driven the enemy.

President Davis was on the field during the day, and made a narrow escape from injury which might possibly have proved fatal. He had taken position in a house near the scene, when word was sent him by Gen. Lee to leave it at once, as it was threatened with danger. He had scarcely complied with the advice before the house was literally riddled with shell from the enemy's batteries.

Prisoners state that on Monday evening McClellan addressed his troops in an animated strain, conjuring them “for God's sake, and the sake of their country and the old flag around which so many fond recollections cluster, to join in one more last struggle to reach our gunboats on the James River. I have been frustrated in all my plans against Richmond. We must cut our way to the river, and there I shall await reenforcements. I do not give up the hope of yet capturing Richmond.” Their fighting subsequently showed that his words were not without effect. During the night the enemy retreated again down the Quaker road toward Malvern Hill, about a half-mile within the intersection of the New-Market or River road and the Quaker road. Here he took a strong position on this hill, about two miles and a half from his gunboats on the James River. This closed the scene of Monday.

The battle of Tuesday, July 1.

The army of McClellan was now getting into the triangle formed by the three roads already alluded to, and in which it was hoped that he would be entrapped. It was in this area that the great battle of Tuesday took place. All of our forces, however, failed to be in position in the right time, and those in the rear, who were to cut him off and hem him in, allowed the game to slip from their hands and quietly make his escape, which he subsequently did by roads easily traceable on the map.

McClellan,in making his way in all haste, but in good order, to the waters of the James River, had reached on Tuesday, July first, a point about sixteen miles below richmond, and two miles above Turkey Island, where it was determined to make a stand, with the purpose of effectually covering the retreat of the main body to their gunboats. The ground was admirably chosen. An elevated plateau of twelve hundred yards in length and three hundred and fifty yards width, lay between a skirt of woods, dark and dense, and a plantation dwelling, which will be known in the official reports as “Crew's House,” with its surrounding buildings. Upon the crest of a gentle slope in front of this country-seat, the Yankees planted four heavy batteries, commanding the plateau, and every square yard of it, to the woods.

On Tuesday morning D. H. Hill's division, on the right to Jackson, Whiting, Ewell, and Jackson's own division on the left, (Jackson commanding the three latter divisions,) crossed the White Oak bridge, and took u their position in this order on the left of our line, at about three o'clock in the afternoon. D. H. Hill's artillery was sent to the rear to rest. Longstreet, A. P.


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