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[137] the 6th of June he marched from Yorktown, with his own regiment, the First North Carolina, and four pieces of Major Randolph's battery, to Bethel church, on the road to Hampton and 9 miles from that village, which he reached after dark. Early in the morning of the 7th he reconnoitered the ground preparatory to fortifying. The northwest branch of Back river was found in front and encircling the right flank, while on the left was a dense wood about 150 yards behind an old field; a thick wood and a narrow field were in the rear. The defect of the position was a very large field, immediately in front of it, across the river, upon which an enemy could readily be deployed. The nature of the ground determined Colonel Hill to make an enclosed work, nearly in the form of a square, with the road running through it, with a redoubt for a battery, for the protection of the bridge, in which Major Randolph placed his guns so as to sweep all the approaches. On an eminence across the creek, on the right of the road, was placed an outwork, with an emplacement for one of Randolph's guns.

During the day and night of the 7th and all day of the 8th, Hill's men busily plied the few implements which he had at his disposal, constructing defenses. Learning on the afternoon of the 8th that a marauding party of the enemy was within a few miles of him, Lieutenant Roberts with a detachment of his regiment, accompanied by Major Randolph with a howitzer, all under command of Lieutenant-Colonel Lee, of the First North Carolina, set out and chased the party over New Market bridge. McDowell's company of the First North Carolina, with a Richmond howitzer gun under Lieutenant West, in command of Major Lane, of the First North Carolina, was sent in pursuit of a second band, with a result described by Colonel Hill, with his peculiar dry humor as: β€˜the second race on the same day over the New Market course, in both of which the Yankees reached the goal first.’

Colonel Magruder came up in the evening of the 8th and assumed command. On Sunday a fresh supply of tools enabled Hill to put more men at work on the intrenchments, but worship was not omitted, as Hill was a Presbyterian elder, of the β€˜Stonewall’ Jackson type, who mingled faith and works. Magruder roused his men at 3 o'clock, on Monday morning, June 10th, for a

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