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[115]

It was too late to remedy his mistake; the whole precious day had been wasted. Stuart's cavalry, which might so effectually have harassed the Federal vanguard, and preceded it to the borders of the James, either through White Oak Swamp or the lower Chickahominy, had advanced so far into the peninsula that it did not again make its appearance during the whole of the campaign. Ewell's soldiers, who were brought back during the night and posted near the remainder of Jackson's troops, had been exhausted by a fruitless march, and it was necessary to grant them at least a few hours' rest.

During the whole of this same night, the trains of the army of the Potomac were on their way toward White Oak Swamp. The bridge situated in front of Frazier's Farm had been reopened toward noon, and Keyes with his two divisions had encamped at Glendale, in the neighborhood of Nelson's Farm. The topographical officers had, moreover, discovered another passage through the swamp above this bridge, leading directly from Savage station to Glendale—a precious discovery, although this road was too much exposed in flank to the enemy, to venture over it with the train. The moment had arrived for evacuating the works which had hitherto concealed the preparations for the movement. This was a most delicate operation. It would have been desirable to effect it during the night, but the length of the train had not permitted this. Fortunately, when day broke, instead of shedding a glaring light over the two armies as on the preceding mornings, it was darkened by a thick fog, which for several hours completely concealed the movements of the Federals from the enemy. Their retreat had commenced. Henceforth, until the friendly gun-boats floating on the waters of the James should greet their sight, they would have to fight by day, and march during the night, almost without rest. Nor was the train, which resembled an immense reptile, allowed to make any stop. When wagons were drawn aside to give the horses time to feed, other wagons took their places. This column, formed of four or five teams abreast, moved along quite regularly in the midst of whirlwinds of dust and a stifling heat. The troops marched on the sides of the road. Between the heavy vehicles of the commissary department there were light ambulances overloaded with

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