previous next

[115] the stream and the resistance encountered. They maintained their position while preparations were being made to cross at another point nearer the Chickahominy. Before these were completed, Jackson crossed Beaverdam above, and the enemy abandoned his entrenchments, and retired rapidly down the river, destroying a great deal of property, but leaving much in his deserted camps.

After repairing the bridges over Beaverdam, the several columns resumed their advance, as nearly as possible as prescribed in the order. Jackson, with whom D. H. Hill had united, bore to the left, in order to cut off reenforcements to the enemy or intercept his retreat in that direction. Longstreet and A. P. Hill moved nearer the Chickahominy. Many prisoners were taken in their progress; the conflagration of wagons and stores marked the course of the retreating army. Longstreet and Hill reached the vicinity of New Bridge about noon. It was ascertained that the enemy had taken a position behind Powhite Creek, prepared to dispute our progress. He occupied a range of hills, with his right resting in the vicinity of McGhee's house, and his left near that of Dr. Gaines, on a wooded bluff which rose abruptly from a deep ravine. The ravine was filled with sharpshooters, to whom its banks gave protection. A second line of infantry was stationed on the side of the hill, overlooking the first, and protected by a breastwork of logs. A third occupied the crest, strengthened with rifle trenches, and crowned with artillery. The approach to this position was over an open plain, about a quarter of a mile wide, commanded by a triple line of fire, and swept by the heavy batteries south of the Chickahominy. In front of his center and right the ground was generally open, bounded on the side of our approach by a wood, with dense and tangled undergrowth, and traversed by a sluggish stream, which converted the soil into a deep morass. The woods on the further side of the swamp were occupied by sharpshooters, and trees had been felled to increase the difficulty of its passage, and detain our advancing columns under the fire of infantry massed on the slopes of the opposite hills, and of the batteries on their crest.

Pressing on toward the York River Railroad, A. P. Hill, who was in advance, reached the vicinity of New Cold Harbor about 2 P. M., where he encountered the foe. He immediately formed his line nearly parallel to the road leading from that place toward McGhee's house, and soon became hotly engaged. The arrival of Jackson on our left was momentarily expected, and it was supposed that his approach would cause the extension of the opposing line in that direction. Under this impression, Longstreet was held back until this movement should commence.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)
hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
James Longstreet (3)
T. J. Jackson (3)
A. P. Hill (3)
D. H. Hill (1)
Gaines (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: