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[116] wounded men; around the train crept along a large number of other wounded and sick men, who had left the hospital to follow the army, falling at every step and presenting a lamentable spectacle. It had been found impossible to take along all those who had been wounded in the recent battles, and nearly two thousand five hundred of them had been left at Savage station, with some surgeons, and recommended to the humanity, already experienced, of the Confederates. Near them a small mountain of coffee, rice, biscuit and hams was burning as a sort of holocaust offered to the god of war.

The troops who had suffered so severely at Gaines' Mill were immediately to follow Keyes' corps toward the James. The task of covering the retreat was entrusted to the yet untouched corps of Sumner and Heintzelman, and to Smith's division. As between White Oak Swamp and Turkey Bend the army was to be exposed to flank attacks of the enemy, who could not fail to come down from Richmond by the three roads we have mentioned, the troops covering this march were ordered to remain stationary during the day, and to move on again at night; in this way they were to relieve each other successively, each gaining one stage in the journey before the sun allowed the enemy to renew the fighting. On the morning of the 29th, Porter's corps and the divisions of McCall and Slocum took position beyond White Oak Swamp, so as to support Keyes at Glendale, and occupy the difficult pass of the swamp in force.

During this time the works in which the army had passed three long weeks were quietly evacuated. General McClellan had indicated to Sumner the positions which the troops forming the rear were to occupy, and had gone to superintend in person the march of the remainder of the army; for it was by the right border of the swamp that the enemy could strike the most dangerous blows. The rear-guard, on the contrary, had its two flanks protected against all attack from Richmond, before reaching the bridge,—on the left by the swamp, on the right by the Chickahominy; and these two obstacles, drawing gradually nearer to each other, narrowed the space of ground it had to defend, in proportion as it fell back.

The main portion of the Confederate army was therefore separated

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