road, with its left flank retired and protected by White Oak Swamp
The only chance of a successful assault by the Confederates
would have been with a heavy artillery fire upon the obtuse angle where Sedgwick
's line bent back to connect with the other divisions.
The condition of the ground, as well as the unorganized state of the Confederate artillery service, made such an attack impossible, and no effort at it seems to have been made.
Late at night, May 31, Longstreet
reported to Smith
, and received orders to attack in the morning from the Williamsburg
road northward, Smith
proposing to take up the battle, with Whiting
and other troops, when it was well developed.
It is easy to see that the Federals
had nothing to fear from anything the Confederates
were likely to do.
Early in the morning there was some sharp firing at many points along the line, where daylight brought into view troops and skirmishers which had been posted after dark; and, in accordance with Smith
's instructions, four of Longstreet
's brigades — Pickett
's, and Colston
's — and two of Huger
's and Armistead
's, advanced upon the enemy's position, which ran largely through the woods.
There resulted a number of more or less severe affairs at different points, which were waged with varying fortunes for some hours.
The brigades which had been engaged the day before were held in reserve near the captured redoubt.
Meanwhile, with daylight, the enemy's position of the afternoon before, opposite Whiting
, showed itself strengthened by intrenchments, and Smith
thought there was evidence of additional reenforcements being sent from the north side.
So the battle in Whiting
's front was not renewed.
, too, soon began to call for reenforcements.
The following notes were received from him in quick succession:—
Yours of to-day received.
The entire army seems to be opposed to me. I trust that some diversion may be made in my favor during these attacks, else my troops cannot stand it. The ammunition gives out too easily.’
‘10 A. M., June 1.
Can you reenforce me?
The entire army seems to be opposed to me. We cannot hold out unless we get help.
If we can fight together, we can finish the work to-day and Mac's time will be up. If I can't get help, I fear that I must fall back.’
On receipt of these notes, Smith
ordered 5000 men to