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[160] Still it remained to try the issue of a general battle between the two united armies. The Confederate columns were accordingly put in motion on the morning of the 1st of July, Jackson's corps leading. A march of a few miles brought the pursuers again in contact with the army, which was found occupying a commanding ridge, extending obliquely across

Sketch of Malvern Hill.

the line of march, in advance of Malvern Hill. In front of this strong position the ground was open, varying in width from a quarter to half a mile, sloping gradually from the crest, and giving a free field of fire. The approaches were over a broken and thickly wooded country, traversed nearly throughout its whole extent by a swamp passable at but few places, and difficult at those.1 On this admirable position General McClellan had concentrated his army, prepared to receive final battle.

1 Lee's Report: Reports of the Army of Northern Virginia, vol. i., p. 12.

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