with the Federals
, in so far that they were enabled, the enemy falling back, to retire to their main body.
When they arrived, past noon, at Savage's Station, they halted to complete the work of destruction.
The troops in our rear at this moment were commanded by Gen. Heintzelman
At four o'clock, Magruder
's force, which had hung upon Heintzelman
's steps for two hours, made a spirited attack.
From the first onslaught, the heroic soldiers of the Federal
rear held their pursuers in check, fighting and retiring until dark.
Under cover of night they passed through White Oak Swamp
In the meanwhile, the long trains of artillery, wagons, and ambulances, and the advance troops, had crossed the swamp during the day and were moving along the Quaker
road which led to the James
was pressing the Federal
rear on this Sunday afternoon and evening, the fifth of the seven, Longstreet
was making a detour of the swamp, with the design of striking the Federal
force at the junction of thenine mile road with that along which McClellan
's army was travelling.
We camped that night in a small clearing in the woods along the line of the Quaker
Loud peals of thunder were heard in the north far over the swamp, suggesting a night storm or a deluge on the morrow.
But the morning of the sixth day was dry and sultry, the heat during the forenoon was oppressive in the extreme.
No breeze found its way into the thick, low woods.
The company camp had much of the air it possesses when a protracted halt is made.
Details had been made for various purposes, and the boys included in these calls were executing their tasks.
We recollect on this forenoon, that Comrade Daniel Cheney
and another of his detachment were bringing water in campket-tles to the cook's fire, and that Cheney
was singing, ‘The cottage by the sea,’ smiling at us, as we were watching him. He, poor fellow, seemed to have no premonition that before sundown he would be numbered with the slain.
And Comrade Thomas Daly
, whose genial countenance was seen no more after this day save in memory, in camp, line, or column, mortally wounded in the afternoon, and our boys captured that day,—all were cheerful, not contemplating the future.
At noon, artillery firing was heard in the swamp.
had repaired and crossed Grapevine Bridge.
He has perhaps joined his force with that of Magruder
, who was