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[114] perpendicular, and the approach to it over open fields commanded by the fire of artillery and infantry under cover on the opposite side. The difficulty of crossing the stream had been increased by felling the fringe of woods on its banks and destroying the bridges. Jackson was expected to pass Beaverdam above, and turn the enemy's right, so General Hill made no direct attack. Longstreet and D. H. Hill crossed the Mechanicsville Bridge as soon as it was uncovered and could be repaired, but it was late before they reached the north bank of the Chickahominy. An effort was made by two brigades, one of A. P. Hill and the other Ripley's of D. H. Hill, to turn the enemy's left, but the troops were unable in the growing darkness to overcome the obstructions, and were withdrawn. The engagement ceased about 9 P. M. Our troops retained the ground from which the foe had been driven.

According to the published reports, General McClellan's position was regarded at this time as extremely critical. If he concentrated on the left bank of the Chickahominy, he abandoned the attempt to capture Richmond, and risked a retreat upon the White House and Yorktown, where he had no reserves, or reason to expect further support. If he moved to the right bank of the river, he risked the loss of his communications with the White House, whence his supplies were drawn by railroad. He would then have to attempt the capture of Richmond by assault, or be forced to open new communications by the James River, and move at once in that direction. There he would receive the support of the enemy's navy. The latter movement had, it appears, been thought of previously, and transports had been sent to the James River. During the night, after the close of the contest last mentioned, the whole of Porter's baggage was sent over to the right bank of the river, and united with the train that set out on the evening of the 27th for the James River.

It would almost seem as if the government of the United States anticipated, at this period, the failure of McClellan's expedition. On June 27th President Lincoln issued an order creating the ‘Army of Virginia,’ to consist of the forces of Fremont, in their Mountain Department; of Banks, in their Shenandoah Department; and of McDowell, at Fredericksburg. The command of this army was assigned to Major General John Pope. This cut off all reenforcements from McDowell to Mc-Clellan.

In expectation of Jackson's arrival on the enemy's right, the battle was renewed at dawn, and continued with animation about two hours, during which the passage of the creek was attempted, and our troops forced their way to its banks, where their progress was arrested by the nature of

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