previous next

[284] including Ewell's division, in the Shenandoah Valley, and seen how successful they were in diverting the army of McDowell at Fredericksburg from uniting with that of McClellan. It was now important to summon the force to the defence of Richmond, and to do so with secrecy and dispatch. To mask his withdrawal from the Valley at the proper time, Jackson, after the defeat of Fremont and Shields, was reinforced by Whiting's division, composed of Hood's Texas brigade, and his own, under Colonel Law, from Richmond, and that of Lawton from the South. The deception succeeded even beyond expectation; and there is reason to suppose that McClellan remained in profound ignorance of Jackson's movement until his apparition on the lines of Richmond.

According to Lee's general order of battle, Gen. Jackson was to march from Ashland on the 25th of June, in the direction of Slash Church, encamping for the night west of the Central railroad, and to advance at three A. M., on the 26th, and turn Beaver Dam. A. P. Hill was to cross the Chickahominy at Meadow Bridge, when Jackson's advance beyond that point should be known, and move directly upon Mechanicsville. As soon as the Mechanicsville bridge should be uncovered, Longstreet and D. H. Hill were to cross, the latter to proceed to the support of Jackson, and the former to that of A. P. Hill. The four commands were directed to sweep down the north side of the Chickahominy towards the York River railroad, Jackson on the left and in advance, Longstreet nearest the river and in the rear. Huger and Magruder were ordered to hold their positions against any assault of the enemy, to observe his movements, and follow him closely should he retreat.

Battles of Mechanichville and Beaver Dam.

A. P. Hill did not commence his movement until three o'clock in the afternoon, when he crossed the river and advanced upon Mechanicsville. This place had been strongly fortified by Fitz-John Porter, whose services as an engineer and artillerist were highly valued by McClellan. As the Confederates advanced on Porter's works, artillery on both sides opened with a terrific roar. A deafening cannonade of half an hour disturbed the last hours of evening. The flash of guns, and long lines of musketry fire could be seen in bright relief against the blue and cloudless sky. As night drew on, a grander scene was presented to the eye. Barns, houses and stacks of hay and straw were in a blaze; and by their light our men were plainly visible rushing across the open spaces through infernal showers of grape. A few moments more and the Federal guns were silent; a loud noise of many voices was heard; and then a long, wild, piercing yell, and the place was ours.

The enemy was now forced to take refuge in his works on the left bank of Beaver Dam creek, about a mile distant. The position was one

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 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.
Stonewall Jackson (4)
George B. McClellan (3)
A. P. Hill (3)
Fitz-John Porter (2)
Longstreet (2)
Whiting (1)
Shields (1)
McDowell (1)
John B. Magruder (1)
R. E. Lee (1)
Lawton (1)
Alfred Huger (1)
J. B. Hood (1)
D. H. Hill (1)
John C. Fremont (1)
Ewell (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
June 25th (1)
26th (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: