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[10] of the peninsula, and the President had just informed General McClellan that one of the divisions of McDowell's corps was restored to him; this was Franklin's division, which had been earnestly asked for, and granted as a kind of compromise between the various campaign plans which had been urged upon the acceptance of Mr. Lincoln.

On the 16th of April General McClellan decided to attack the one of the three dams constructed by the enemy which was the lowest on Warwick Creek. Situated at a distance of about one thousand metres above Lee's Mills, it formed the centre and, according to the avowal of the Confederates, the weakest point of their line. A general cannonade was opened, from Yorktown to Lee's Mills, so as not to draw the enemy's attention exclusively to the point where it was intended to begin by silencing his artillery. But instead of making the assault immediately after, the cannonade was prolonged for six hours, and thus Magruder was given ample time to prepare for defence wherever he might be menaced. At last, towards four o'clock, four companies of the Third Vermont, supported by the fire of twenty-two cannon which had already dismounted two of the three guns in the enemy's work, bravely rushed to the assault of that work. The Federals, crossing Warwick Creek with great boldness below the dam, took possession of the breastworks which commanded it, after an engagement in which they put to flight two regiments of the enemy, the Fifteenth North Carolina and the Sixteenth Georgia. The most difficult part of the task was accomplished, a foothold having been obtained on the other side of the creek; all that remained to be done was to take advantage of the surprise of the enemy to push regiment after regiment as rapidly as possible across the ford, to pass beyond the breastworks, to take possession of the redoubt, and thus to pierce the enemy's line; but the generals of various grades who had organized this demonstration had failed to agree beforehand as to the importance it was to assume, and much precious time was lost.

For an hour the foremost assailants exhausted themselves without receiving any other reinforcement than five or six hundred men of the Fourth and Sixth Vermont. The enemy took advantage of this delay to mass all his available forces upon the point menaced: that

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