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[289] their intrenched and barricaded position three lines of infantry, one above the other, on a steep slope, protected by fallen timber, and having the ridge behind them occupied by heavy guns that poured upon him shot and shell over the heads of the Federal infantry. At 4, Lee ordered Longstreet to make a demonstration against Porter's left, toward the Chickahominy, on Turkey hill. The crest of this hill, crowned with numerous Federal batteries, was 60 feet higher than the plateau opposite, on which Longstreet formed his line of battle. Numerous and elaborate defenses protected the slope of Turkey hill at this point, just as above; at the same time, McClellan's heavy siege guns, from his position south of the Chickahominy, had an enfilade fire on Longstreet's right as he advanced. These conditions led Longstreet to concentrate his entire division to strike the blow he had been ordered to give, and it was 7 o'clock before he was ready to move.

In the meantime, Jackson had not been idle. No leader of fighting men better understood the necessity of joining in a fight, when a fight was on, than he did; and when he found himself in front of Old Cold Harbor and heard the sound of firing on his right, he knew that the thing for him to do was to help defeat the enemy and drive him from his position, rather than be a looker — on and continue moving to the eastward, as he might have done under the general instructions of his orders. His divisions stretched across several miles of country, eastward and westward, through forests and across swampy creeks with steep and difficult banks, but he had so arranged them that they could be promptly moved when the emergency came for so doing. His chief of staff, Major Dabney, was quite unwell, having been overcome by the intense heat and the exertions of the past few days in the discharge of his arduous duties. The rest of the staff were scattered, under orders, and Jackson began giving instructions to Major Dabney to ride rapidly to the right and send forward each division, as he reached its commander, instructing each to bear to the left in moving forward, thus bringing his line of battle into successive action in echelon. Just as he was concluding his instructions, another staff officer, whose duty really was not on the field of battle, came up. Jackson at once directed Major Dabney to remain with him, while he sent this officer to

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R. E. Lee (1)
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