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[202] morning until the middle of the afternoon for the approach of Jackson, which was to uncover the bridge in his front. Then, fearing lest further delay might imperil the whole movement by revealing it to the enemy, he carried the bridge before him, and, moving down towards Mechanicsville, drove the small Federal force there to the lines at Beaver Dam creek, which were held by McCall's division. Jackson was expected to turn this line, but being yet behind, A. P. Hill engaged the Federal forces and made attempts on each flank, which were, however, repulsed. Longstreet and D. H. Hill joined A. P. Hill near nightfall, and the approach of Jackson on their flank caused the Federals to retreat next morning to Gaines's Mill and Cold Harbor. Here Fitz John Porter held a strong position, covering the principal bridges across the Chickahominy and protecting at the same time the York River railroad. Porter was reinforced during the afternoon by Slocum's division, and later by two additional brigades. These Federal forces amounted probably to from 30,000 to 40,000 men, or about one-third of McClellan's army. The remaining 70,000 were on the south side of the river, in front of Magruder and Huger. Lee had left on the south side some 25,000 to 30,000, and thus had probably about 50,000 men with which to attack Porter. The Confederates followed up the retreating Federals to Gaines's Mill on the afternoon of Friday, June 27th, attacked them in their positions, and after a fierce and bloody combat completely defeated Porter, driving his troops to the Chickahominy (which they crossed under cover of the night), and capturing twenty-two guns. While this was going on, Magruder made such a display of force in front of Richmond that the mass of the Federal army was held there inactive, and none of their officers in high command deemed it possible to spare any considerable force from that side to reinforce Porter. Thus Lee managed to hold two-thirds of McClellan's army idle with one-third of his own, while with the main body of the Confederate forces he inflicted a crushing blow on Porter. The Federal commander was certainly outgeneraled.

The defeat of Porter threw the York River railroad and the Federal depots on that road and on the Pamunkey into the hands of the Confederates and forced the Federal army to another line of retreat. It was. now that McClellan made his wisest move in the campaign. He had been thinking of the James river as a base, and now cut off from the Pamunkey, he determined to move towards the James at its nearest point, instead of recrossing the Chickahominy and retreating down the peninsula. He began at once the movement of the immense trains and material of his army across White Oak Swamp, in the direction of

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