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[117] from the enemy by a river difficult to cross, and had an immense circuit to make to overtake him on the new line of retreat he had chosen. Huger, with a single division, numbering from eight to ten thousand men, had been ordered several days before to occupy the right bank of White Oak Swamp. It would certainly have been impossible for him to impede McClellan's march with such a small force, but he could easily watch his movements, and ought to have noticed the direction in which Keyes had been marching since the 28th. He did not, however, display more activity on this occasion than at the battle of Fair Oaks. Allowing some of his squadrons to be borne down by Averill's Federal cavalry, without affording them any assistance, he remained inactive on the Charles City road, while the Federals continued their march unmolested during the whole of the 29th, without having to fire a musket-shot south of White Oak Swamp. Longstreet and Hill returned on the 29th, crossing by New Bridge to take position in his rear in the vicinity of Richmond, ready to operate, as circumstances might require, on either side of the swamp. Jackson, with his four divisions, remained north of the Chickahominy.

Finally, toward eight o'clock in the evening, Magruder, perceiving the abandonment of the Federal works, pushed forward McLaws' division, which had been placed under his orders, together with Griffith's brigade of his own division. The Federals steadily awaited their approach.

Heintzelman's corps, posted across the Williamsburg turnpike, occupied the works before which the Confederates had stopped on the day of Fair Oaks, his lines extending as far as the railroad. On his right was deployed Sumner's corps, skirting the edge of a wood situated about two kilometres in advance of Savage station. Of the two divisions composing this corps, that of Sedgwick was placed between Heintzelman and the railroad, and that of Richardson on the other side of this line. Still more to the right and in the rear, Smith's division occupied the heights which overlook the Chickahominy, where Porter had encamped the day before.

Toward nine o'clock the Confederates began the attack on a point called Allen's Farm, where Sedgwick's right formed a junction with Richardson's left. The latter first, and then Sedgwick, had to sustain the whole brunt of the fight. But the enemy was

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