purpose of cooperating with the movements of General Pope. To meet the advance of the latter, and restrain as far as possible the atrocities which he threatened to perpetrate upon our defenceless citizens, General Jackson, with his own and Ewell's division, was ordered to proceed toward Gordonsville on the thirteenth of July. Upon reaching that vicinity he ascertained that the force under General Pope was superior to his own, but the uncertainty that then surrounded the designs of General McClellan, rendered it inexpedient to reenforce him from the army at Richmond. He was directed to observe the enemy's movements closely, to avail himself of any opportunity to attack that might arise, and assistance was promised should the progress of General Pope put it in our power to strike an effectual blow, without withdrawing the troops too long from the defence of the capital. The enemy at Westover continuing to manifest no intention of resuming active operations, and General Pope's advance having reached the Rapidan, General A. P. Hill, with his division, was ordered on the twenty-seventh of July to join General Jackson. At the same time in order to keep McClellan stationary, or, if possible, to cause him to withdraw, General D. H. Hill, commanding south of James River, was directed to threaten his communications by seizing favorable positions below Westover, from which to attack the transports in the river. That officer selected Coggin's Point, opposite Westover, and the conduct of the expedition was committed to Brigadier-General French. On the night of the thirty-first General French, accompanied by Brigadier-General Pendleton, Chief of Artillery, placed forty-three guns in position within range of the enemy's shipping in the river, and of the camps on the north side, upon both of which fire was opened, causing consternation and inflicting serious damage. The guns were withdrawn before daybreak, with the loss of one killed and two wounded by the gunboats and batteries of the enemy; this attack caused General McClellan to send a strong force to the south bank of the river which intrenched itself on Coggin's Point. In the latter part of July, the enemy's cavalry from Fredericksburgh attempted to cut Jackson's communications by destroying the Central Railroad at Beaver Dam. This force did no serious damage; but to prevent the repetition of the attempt, and to ascertain the strength and designs of the enemy, General Stuart was directed to proceed from Hanover Court-House, where he was posted, toward Fredericksburgh. His progress was delayed by high-water until the fourth of August, when he advanced, with Fitz-Hugh Lee's brigade and the Stuart horse artillery, upon Port Royal. Arriving at that place on the fifth, without opposition, he proceeded in the direction of Fredericksburgh, and the next day came into the telegraph road at Massaponax Church, just after two brigades of the enemy had passed that point on the way to the Central Railroad. His vigorous attack caused the expedition to return in haste to Fredericksburgh, and General Stuart retired with the loss of only two men, bringing off eighty-five prisoners and a number of horses, wagons, and arms. No further attempt was made upon the railroad. On the fifth of August our cavalry reported that the enemy had advanced in large force from Westover to Malvern Hill, and the next day the divisions of General Longstreet and McLaws, and that commanded by General Ripley, were moved down to the Long Bridge road. The enemy was found occupying the ground on which the action of July first was fought, and seemed ready to deliver battle in as great force as on that day. McLaws's and Ripley's divisions, reenforced by D. R. Jones's division, formed our left, Longstreet the right. The heat was intense, and the progress of the troops necessarily slow. Before the road was cleared of the enemy's pickets and the line of battle disclosed, the sun had almost set. Orders were given for our left wing to advance to Willis's Church, threatening the communication with Westover by extending well to the left, while two brigades of Longstreet's division were directed to advance upon Malvern Hill and drive in the enemy on Curls Neck. The latter operation was handsomely executed by General Evans, with his own and Cobb's brigade, forcing the enemy back to his guns on Malvern Hill. The next morning, upon advancing, it was found that he had withdrawn during the night and retired to Westover. Our pickets were reestablished, and the troops returned to their former positions. This expedition, which was the last undertaken by General McClellan on James River, was attended with small loss on either side. General Hampton, with his brigade of cavalry, kept the enemy closely confined within his lines until his final withdrawal.
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Foreign accounts of the fight.
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