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[118] repulsed along the whole line; and seeing the fruitlessness of their assaults, the Confederates soon retired. The darkness, in the midst of which this engagement ended, which had commenced too late to lead to any serious results, was against the aggressors, who, not being able to combine their movements, unnecessarily lost many men, and among others General Griffith.

Meanwhile, Jackson had been ordered to cross the Chickahominy on the morning of the 29th, and to throw himself with all his forces upon the troops posted on the other side of the river, which he had thus far believed to be held in check by his mere presence. He at once set himself to work to reconstruct the Alexander bridge, designated in his reports by the name of Grape-vine bridge. This bridge opened at the foot of the hill where Doctor Trent's house stands. The Federals no longer occupied this position, Franklin having placed Smith's division lower down, so as to cover the approaches to Savage station, on the side of the Chickahominy.

As to Sumner, he was ordered to fall back until he should join Smith's left. He nevertheless remained for some time before Allen's Farm, thus leaving his right entirely unprotected (en l'air), and opening a vast space in the Federal line in front of the Trent house, precisely at the point upon which Jackson's heads of column could not fail to emerge. The Union generals, however, had quickly perceived this danger. Franklin had brought Smith back nearer to Savage station, in order to close up the Federal line. On being informed of this movement, Sumner finally determined to fall back likewise upon the position, of which Savage is the centre; and assuming command of the five divisions which were about to assemble at this point, he resolved to defend it to the utmost, agreeably to McClellan's orders.

Heintzelman, who with his army corps formed the Federal left, had received formal orders to halt at a short distance from the station and not to continue the retreat until dark; but instead of complying with these instructions, he proceeded with his two divisions in the direction of White Oak Swamp. McClellan had designated to him a road which, after following the line of this swamp for some distance, crossed it at Brackett's Ford, above the bridge, over which the remainder of the army was passing. He

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