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[56] pressing our rear so persistently yesterday. His plan is, to push across White Oak Creek, through the swamp, and unite with Longstreet and Hill, who are making the detour of the swamp, hoping to reach the junction of the New Market and Quaker roads and intercept McClellan.

How to prevent the consummation of the plans of these Confederate chieftains was McClellan's problem. His extreme advance had reached the James, this morning; the artillery, much of it, was parked on Malvern Hill. Leaving Franklin, with the divisions of Smith and Richardson, and Naglee's brigade, and artillery under Capt. Ayres, to guard the passage of the swamp, he hurried the remainder of his army along the Quaker road.

Our command has evidently been waiting with others, until the movement had made such progress as to render it practicable for other bodies to be set in motion. Fortune favored McClellan, for when Jackson reached White Oak Creek, the bridge was destroyed, and batteries on the south side effectually swept the crossing. This was the firing which we heard at noon. Again and again did the Confederates attempt to cross the creek, and as often were they repulsed by Smith's division of the Sixth Corps. After noonday we moved along. Longstreet was at this time upon the New Market road, south of the swamp, a mile from the cross roads, i. e., from the point of intersection of the New Market and Quaker roads. He found the junction in the possession of the Federal forces. There was little probability that he could gain this point and cut the Federal army in two, unless he could unite with Jackson; the latter never came. But tenacity of purpose and courage are qualities that often impel men to cope with serious disadvantages, and sometimes enable them to win success. Longstreet and Hill seem to have determined to pierce the Federal line within hearing of Jackson, who could not participate in the fearful venture; but there were in front of them troops which, though inferior in numbers, were not only equal in the particulars of discipline, personnel, and courage to their own, but were led in divisions by men of equal courage and firmness of purpose with the Confederate generals themselves.

Across the New Market road, on a line parallel with and in front of the Quaker road, extended the Union forces, commanded by Hooker, Sumner, McCall, and Kearney, awaiting the attack of

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