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[58] (as well as could be ascertained, about fifty pieces) in a crescent-shaped line, the convex-line being next to our position, with its right (on our left) resting upon a road which passed three hundred yards to the left of Crew's house on Malvern Hill, the left of their advanced line of batteries resting upon the high bluff which overlooked the meadow to the right (our right) and rear of Crew's house. Their infantry, a little in rear of the artillery, and protected by the crest of the ridge upon which the batteries were placed, extended from the woods on our left along the crest of the hill and through a lane in the meadow on our right to the dense woods there. In rear of this and beyond a narrow ravine, the sides of which were covered with timber, and which ran parallel to their line of battle and but a few rods in rear of Crew's house, was another line of infantry, its right resting upon a heavy, dense woods, which covered the Malvern Hill farm on the east. The left of this line rested upon the precipitous bluff which overhung the low meadow on the west of the farm. At this point the high bluff stretched out to the west for two hundred yards in a long ridge or ledge, nearly separating the meadow from the lowlands of the river, upon the extreme western terminus of which was planted a battery of heavy guns. The latter battery commanded the whole meadow in front of it, and by a direct fire was able to dispute the manoeuvring of troops over any portion of the meadow. Just behind the ravine which ran in rear of Crew's house, and under cover of the timber, was planted a heavy battery in a small redoubt, whose fire swept across the meadow. These two batteries completely controlled the meadow from one extremity of it to the other and effectually prevented the movement of troops in large masses upon it. The whole number of guns in these several batteries could not have fallen far short of one hundred. The infantry force of the enemy I estimated at least 25,000 or 30,000, from what I saw. Large numbers, as I ascertained afterward, were posted in the woods on our extreme right and left, and the line of ditches across the meadows were lined with sharp-shooters.

What was the plan of battle? Let General J. Bankhead Magruder, the Confederate commander who directed the plan of battle, explain:

Soon after, Mahone's brigade having arrived and the hour growing late, I gave the order that Wright's brigade, supported by Mahone's should advance and attack the enemy's batteries on the right; that Jones' division, expected momentarily, should advance on the right, and Ransom's brigade should attack on the left; my plan being to hurl about 15,000 men against the enemy's batteries and

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Malvern Hill (Virginia, United States) (1)

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William Mahone (2)
Ambrose R. Wright (1)
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Joseph Jones (1)
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