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[328] our infantry. Reinforced by the guns of Brockenbrough, Carrington, and Courtnay, of my command, our artillery now numbered about thirty pieces. Their fire was well directed and effective, and contributed to the successful issue of the engagement.

On the following day, twenty-eighth, General Ewell preceded by a cavalry force, advanced down the north side of the Chickahominy to Dispatch Station, and destroyed a portion of the railroad track.

On the twenty-ninth, he moved his division to the vicinity of Bottom's Bridge, to prevent the enemy crossing at that point; but, on the following day, was ordered to return to cooperate with the movements of the corps.

The twenty-eighth and twenty-ninth were occupied in disposing of the dead and wounded, and repairing Grapevine Bridge, over the Chickahominy, which McClellan's forces had used in their retreat, and destroyed in their rear. During the night of the twenty-ninth we commenced crossing the Chickahominy, and, on the following day, arrived at Savage Station, on the Richmond and York River Railroad, where a summer hospital, remarkable for the extent and convenience of its accommodations, fell into our possession. In it were about two thousand five hundred sick and wounded, besides some five hundred persons having charge of the patients. Many other evidences of the hurried and disordered flight of the enemy were now visible; blankets, clothing, and other supplies, had been recklessly abandoned. General D. H. Hill, who had the advance, gathered up, probably, a thousand stragglers, and so many small-arms that it became necessary to detach two regiments to take charge of them, and to see to the security of the prisoners.

About noon we reached White Oak Swamp, and here the enemy made a determined effort to retard our advance, and thereby to prevent an immediate junction between General Longstreet and myself. We found the bridge destroyed, and the ordinary place of crossing commanded by their batteries on the opposite side, and all approach to it barred by detachments of sharpshooters concealed in a dense wood close by. A battery of twenty-eight guns from Hill's and Whiting's artillery was placed by Colonel S. Crutchfield, in a favorable position for driving off or silencing the opposing artillery.

About two P. M., it opened suddenly upon the enemy. He fired a few shots in reply and then withdrew from that position, abandoning part of his artillery. Captain Wooding was immediately ordered near the bridge to shell the sharp-shooters from the woods, which was accomplished, and Munford's cavalry crossed the creek, but was soon compelled to retire. It was soon seen that the enemy occupied such a position beyond a thick intervening wood on the right of the road, as enabled him to command the crossing. Captain Wooding's battery was consequently recalled, and our batteries turned in the new direction. The fire so opened on both sides was kept up until dark. We bivouacked that night near the swamp.

A heavy cannonading in front announced the engagement of General Longstreet at Frazier's Farm, and made me eager to press forward; but the marshy character of the soil, the destruction of the bridge over the marsh and creek, and the strong position of the enemy for defending the passage, prevented my advancing until the following morning. During the night the Federals retired; the bridge was rapidly repaired by Whiting's division, which soon after crossed over and continued the pursuit, in which it was followed by the remainder of my corps. At White Oak, we captured a portion of the enemy's artillery, and also found another hospital with about three hundred and fifty sick and wounded, which fell into our hands.

Upon reaching Frazier's Farm, I found General Longstreet's advance near the road. The commanding general soon after arrived, and, in pursuance of his instructions, I continued to press forward. The head of my advancing column was soon fired upon by the enemy, who, nevertheless, continued to fall back until he reached Malvern Hill, which strong position he held in force. General Whiting was directed to move to the left and take position on the Poindexter Farm, General D. H. Hill to take position further to the right, Taylor's brigade, of General Ewell's division, to move forward between the divisions of Hill and Whiting, the remainder of Ewell's division to remain in rear of the first line. Jackson's division was halted near Willis's Church, in the wood, and held in reserve.

General D. H. Hill pursued the route indicated, crossing an open field and creek. His troops were then brought in full range of the enemy's artillery and suffered severely. Brigadier-General Anderson was wounded and carried from the field. The division was halted under the cover of a wood, which afforded an opportunity for a more particular examination of the ground in front. The enemy, in large force, were found strongly posted on a commanding hill, all the approaches to which, in the direction of my position, could be swept by his artillery, and were guarded by infantry. The nearest batteries could only be approached by traversing an open space of three or four hundred yards, exposed to the murderous fire of artillery and infantry. The commanding general had issued an order that, at a given signal, there should be a general advance of the whole line. General D. H. Hill, hearing what he believed to be the signal, with great gallantry pressed forward and engaged the enemy. Not supported by a general advance, as he had anticipated, he soon saw it was impossible, without support, to sustain himself long against such overwhelming numbers. He accordingly sent to me for reinforcements. I ordered that portion of General Ewell's division held in reserve, and Jackson's division, to his relief; but, from the darkness of the night and the obstructions caused by the swamp and undergrowth through which


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