been established during the winter,) remained upon the Rapidan
until the 6th of April, awaiting the full development of the enemy's plans.
On the 6th, the division of General D. H. Hill
was dispatched to Yorktown
, moving by rail to Richmond
and by steamer to Grove wharf, on the James
It was followed in a few days by the divisions of Longstreet
and G. W. Smith
, a part marching down the Peninsula
, as the transportation was insufficient.
D. H. Hill
's advance reached Grove wharf on the 9th, and by the 20th the greater part of the three divisions had all arrived.
The division of General Ewell
was left near Gordonsville
in observation of the line of the Rapidan
, where it remained until the 30th of April, when it joined General Jackson
in the Valley
On the arrival of General Johnston
on the Peninsula
, the Confederate forces now numbering fifty-three thousand, were positioned as follows: Gloucester Point
, and the adjacent redoubts were held by D. H. Hill
in the centre held the line of the Warwick
, embracing the works at Wynn's mill, and dams No. 3 and No. 2.
The brigades of Brigadier-Generals Featherston
, were now added to his command, which was styled the “Central forces.”
's division held the Warwick
's right, and embracing dam number one and Lee's mill
The division of General Smith
was held in reserve, portions of it occasionally relieving brigades in the trenches at exposed points.
The actual hostilities between the two armies were limited to sharp-shooting and artillery duelling until the 16th of April, when an attempt was made by General W. F. Smith
to get a foot-hold upon the Confederate
side of the Warwick
, at dam number one.
The position was defended by a single available gun (a six-pounder of Stanley
's Georgia battery,) a few rifle pits on the bank, and an unfinished breastwork a hundred yards in rear.
The inundation in front was over a hundred yards in width, about four feet deep, and overgrown with heavy timber and brushwood.
A sharp cannonade was maintained upon it for two hours during the morning, and at 3 o'clock in the afternoon it was renewed by eighteen guns, to which the single six-pounder made a steady reply from its pit. At half-past 3 o'clock a heavy body of infantry was drawn up on the opposite bank, and a musketry fire was also opened, under cover of which four companies of the Third Vermont, afterwards reinforced by eight others, forded the stream and advanced gallantly upon the unfinished breastworks, on which the Fifteenth North Carolina was just then at work.
A sharp fight ensued for a few minutes, in