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[119] entered this road at noon, thus uncovering the entire left flank of Sumner, who had not been apprised of his sudden departure.

The Confederates were not slow in taking advantage of such a blunder. They advanced by the Williamsburg road and along the railroad track, preceded by an engine, to which was attached an iron-plated car carrying a heavy gun. This strange machine, which was called the Land Merrimac, stopped from time to time to fire a random shot; but it does not appear that anybody was hurt by it. As we have before stated, Sumner's two divisions were deployed in the vicinity of Savage station; that of Sedgewick occupied the clearing between the railroad and the Williamsburg road; that of Richardson had fallen back so as to form a right angle with the line of the first, along the railway track, facing north. Sumner, believing his left to be covered by Heintzelman, had not occupied in force the wood bordering the Williamsburg road, and Franklin, finding no enemy in sight, had sent Smith's division to the rear. That of McCall was posted at Bottom's Bridge, guarding the passage of the Chickahominy.

Toward four o'clock in the afternoon the officers of the signal corps announce the approach of the enemy. Smith, being hastily recalled by his chief, has barely time to throw Hancock's brigade on Richardson's right, to extend his line by resting it upon a thicket, which the enemy will presently take from him, and at the same time to send Brooks' brigade to the extreme left. The latter general arrives just in time to occupy the wood stretching along the road, and to reinforce Burns' troops, of Sedgwick's division, who are keeping up an unequal fight from their position across this road. Magruder, in fact, taking advantage of the gap made by Heintzelman's unhoped — for departure, has with his wonted vigor hurled his own and McLaws' division against the weakest point of the Federal line. He almost breaks it, when the opportune arrival of the reserve of Sumner, who had soon recovered from his surprise, checks him. Brooks re-establishes the battle on that side; but the struggle continues with fierceness along the whole line until after sunset. The Confederates, encouraged by their victory of Gaines' Mill, and finding that their adversary is about to escape them, are determined at all hazards to inflict another reverse upon him before night comes on to protect his retreat. The

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