previous next
[288] those leading to the Gaines house, which was west of the swamp behind Gaines' mill, and the New bridge over the Chickahominy. Jackson's guide conducted Ewell, by a road leading to Walnut Grove church on the main river road, west instead of east of the right flank and rear of McClellan's new position. This brought Ewell face to face with A. P. Hill, instead of some distance to his left, thus paralyzing the movements of each of these division commanders. D. H. Hill, who had been ordered to report to Jackson, pushed forward, from Mechanicsville, on the road leading to Bethesda church and Porter's right rear. By 2 p.m. Jackson had D. H. Hill's division in front of Old Cold Harbor, pressing forward upon Porter's right flank and rear, through fallen timber and tangled brushwood, which the enemy had provided as a defense to the rear of his right flank. This forward movement was opposed by sharpshooters. Lee, at Walnut Grove church, in front of which his line of battle, under A. P. Hill and Longstreet, was advancing toward the enemy's position beyond Powhite swamp, had ordered Jackson to continue his eastward course, strike Porter's rear and threaten his communications with York river, expecting this closing down upon his front, flank and rear would drive him down the Chickahominy.

Having, by strenuous efforts, got his troops in position north of Old Cold Harbor, Jackson ordered forward Bondurant's battery to draw the fire of the Federal guns and thus reveal their position, which was screened by intervening forests. The furious fire that this action drew, furnished Jackson the information he wanted, at about 2:30 p. m., just as Hill was moving his division to assault the Federals at New Cold Harbor, having already driven Porter's skirmishers from Gaines' mill and the immediate line of Powhite swamp. Knowing that Longstreet was on his right, Hill, with his usual impetuous ardor, dashed across Powhite swamp and the obstructions that had been placed behind it, and rushed against the strong batteries and intrenched lines of the Federal center, and in fierce contention strove, for two hours, to carry the strong Federal position. He forced Porter to call for help, and at 3:30 Slocum added his 5,000 men to the defense. Hill had endured this fierce contest without assistance. Of course he could not with his single attacking line, against formidable obstacles, drive from

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 Places (automatically extracted)
hide People (automatically extracted)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: