's troops were being brought up, the noise of battle waned, until an ominous silence seemed to possess the field as the sun drew near the horizon.
Then the storm arose again and soon swelled to a magnitude never before heard on this continent.
It was about seven o'clock when at last D. H. Hill
, and a part of Winder
were all hotly engaged in the swampy tangle in front of the Federal
right, and, though in great confusion, were making headway through it, and several Confederate batteries were returning the Federal
Opposite their left, Whiting
's two brigades had just arrived, being directed by Lee
as they approached from Cold Harbor, and two of Winder
's brigades were also close at hand.
A. P. Hill
's brigades, though much diminished, were still holding their lines, and Longstreet
was all in position.
It was, practically, anybody's fight.
A fresh division to Porter
would have easily held his lines until night.
It might even have enabled him to make an effective counterstroke, though the natural obstacles behind which his lines were located, offered but one or two possible opportunities.
Two fresh brigades, French's and Meagher
's, were en route
to him, but were yet too far off to lend any aid.
, at last, was putting forth his whole strength.
He issued orders for an advance of every command, regardless of the troops upon its right or left.
A general advance was made, not simultaneous in its beginnings, but pressed to success by Whiting
's two brigades supported by Longstreet
on our extreme right, by Lawton
's and Winder
's brigades in the centre, and by D. H. Hill
's and parts of Ripley
's and Rodes
's brigades upon our left.
Had it been made two hours earlier, the fruits of the victory would have been important.
As it was, they were so trifling as scarcely to be worth mention.
fell back in fairly good order under cover of his superior artillery, and our artillery could not be gotten forward across the swamps.
Blessed night, for which the defeated pray, had let down her mantle while the firing was still severe, and before we could even feel fully assured of our victory.
Under its friendly cover, and the protection of the French
brigades, by 4 A. M. the whole Federal