made a charge upon the enemy's position, using the sabre, and capturing one of his guns and some caissons, and drove him back upon Smith
's division of infantry, which had begun to arrive in his rear.
's division was, immediately on its arrival, deployed for an attack, but on moving forward through the dense wood behind which it formed, it was thrown into confusion, and night coming on, only a little skirmishing ensued.
About sundown General Longstreet
was ordered to relieve the troops in position with one of his brigades.
As his brigades were all small, two were sent, those of Anderson
and Prior, by which the lines were occupied during the night with Macon
's battery and two sections under Captains Garnett
On the morning of the 5th the bulk of the Confederate army, with its trains, was pushed forward as fast as possible through a severe rain storm, which converted the roads into quick sands and quagmires, probbably the worst that the war produced.
's division, between 10,000 and 11,000 strong, was left as a rear guard.
During the night the division of General Hooker
, 9,000 strong, had arrived on the field, opposite the Confederate
right, and as soon after daylight as his dispositions could be made, General Hooker
commenced a vigorous attack.
The Confederate line was drawn up between Fort Magruder, a considerable enclosed bastioned earthwork of perhaps six hundred yards development of parapet and some small redans, which were part of a chain of such works, twelve in number, besides Fort Magruder and stretching entirely across the Peninsula
, on a line about six miles long.
The country in front of the Confederate
position was open for about seven hundred yards, and the edge of the forest was also levelled, so as to give a range of twelve hundred yards to the guns in Fort Magruder.
's brigade occupied this fort and the vicinity; Pryor
's brigade being on its right.
The remainder of Longstreet
's division was in bivouac beyond Williamsburg
; General Longstreet
simply standing on the defensive to cover the march of the army.
At half-past 7 o'clock General Hooker
began operations by sending forward a battery (Webbers) to take position within seven hundred yards of Fort Magruder, and open upon it, while Grover
's brigade, deployed as skirmishers, was directed to push through the felled timber to his front, and right, and, taking position near the battery, to silence the guns in Fort Magruder, and to open communication with Smith
's division and the Yorktown
road, on which Couch
's and Casey
's divisions were advancing.
The advance of Webber
's battery was met by so sharp a fire from Macon
's four gun battery in Fort