and assisted by the fire of the gunboats in James River, guarded this part of the line. Magruder, who had reached the Darbytown road, was ordered to reinforce Holmes; but being at a greater distance than had been supposed, he did not reach the position of the latter in time for an attack. Huger reported that his progress was obstructed; but about four P. M., firing was heard in the direction of the Charles City road, which was supposed to indicate his approach. Longstreet immediately opened with one of his batteries to give notice of his presence. This brought on the engagement; but Huger not coming up, and Jackson having been unable to force the passage of White Oak Swamp, Longstreet and Hill were without the expected support. The superiority of numbers and advantage of position were on the side of the enemy. The battle raged furiously until nine P. M.; by that time the enemy had been driven with great slaughter from every position but one, which he maintained until he was enabled to withdraw under cover of darkness. At the close of the struggle, nearly the entire field remained in our possession, covered with the enemy's dead and wounded. Many prisoners, including a general of division, were captured, and several batteries, with some thousands of small-arms taken. Could the other commands have cooperated in the action, the result would have proved most disastrous to the enemy. After the engagement, Magruder was recalled to relieve the troops of Longstreet and Hill. His men, much fatigued by their long, hot march, arrived during the night.
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Foreign accounts of the fight.
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