, and McCarthy
's section, from a redoubt on the right, that, when at length the guns were unlimbered in the assigned positions, the cannoneers had been driven off, and their pieces stood deserted.
A second battery, (Bramhall
's) was immediately ordered forward, with the officers and men of a third to take charge of Webber
's guns, and with the assistance of a heavy fire from the sharp-shooters the two batteries were at length gotten to work.
An attempt was made to reestablish the Confederate
picket line, driven in by this advance, but it proved unsuccessful, and the action became for a while, an interchange of musketry and artillery at several hundred yards range, in which the enemy had a decided advantage with his rifled muskets and cannon.
over the Confederate
smooth-bore muskets and six pounders.
The co-operation which General Hooker
expected from Smith
's division, and the other troops coming up upon the Yorktown
road, (his own position being on the Lee's mill
road, which united with it behind the line which his skirmishers now held), was not rendered, and his efforts were therefore confined to holding his position, and keeping Longstreet
, appreciating the situation, moved forward Wilcox
's and A. P. Hill
's brigades, with which he extended his right flank, to envelop Hooker
's left and relieve his front.
These brigades fell upon Hooker
's left flank, composed of Patterson
's and a part of Taylor
's brigades, and after a sharp fight drove them, with heavy loss, out of a wood and across a considerable piece of ground, on which the trees had been felled but not lopped of their branches.
Continuing to advance into this entanglement, the Confederate
's were checked by a heavy fire from artillery and the remainder of Patterson
's brigade with a portion of Grover
's which Hooker
withdrew from in front of Fort Magruder.
Unable to see their enemy, the line was halted and the fire returned through the branches of the trees, and again for some hours the battle became a fusilade, but at sufficiently close quarters to cause many casualties, although the combatants were invisible to each other.
At this stage of the affair, the battle having assumed considerable proportions, and the slow progress of the retreating trains through the rain and mud making it evident that the ground must be held all day, while fresh supplies of ammunition could not be easily brought back, General Longstreet
called for the division of General D. H. Hill
, which was still within five miles of Williamsburg
, and which was at once turned back.
also returned to the field with it, but did not assume the command.
Pending the arrival of these troops, the remaining brigades of Longstreet
's division, Pickett
's and Colston
's, were brought upon the field, and the latter being held in reserve, General