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 In the course of the morning, when Keyes, followed by Porter, reached the James, the line of the army of the Potomac extended from White Oak Bridge to Haxall's Landing, a distance of thirteen kilometres. This line was too long to be everywhere defended by the Federals against a vigorous attack, nor could they shorten it; for in order to protect the train and prevent the enemy from placing himself on the left flank of the troops in the march, it was necessary to bar the passage of White Oak Swamp against him. The three principal points of this line had, therefore, to be occupied in force. The first was that portion of the bank of the James toward which the army was directing its course. At Haxall's Landing the river borders an immense clearing occupied by a few huts situated to the south, and consequently beyond Malvern Hill, for those approaching that position either by way of the Quaker road or New Market road. All the roads leading to this landing pass either along the side or at the foot of the hill which thus commands the approaches. It overlooks the whole surrounding country; wooded at the east, it is entirely bare on all the other sides. A cluster of acacias surrounds the old house of Mr. Crewe, situated on the highest point above the rather abrupt acclivities which stretch down to the James. These slopes are less precipitous to the west on the side facing Richmond, and become still gentler to the north toward the Quaker road. A point equally important to defend was that of Frazier's Farm, at the other extremity of the line, for it commands the passage of White Oak Swamp. The intermediate position was that of Glendale. At this point all the roads through which the enemy, coming from Richmond, might try to throw himself upon the flank of the Federal column, emerge into the Quaker road. Omitting a few irregularities and one or two cross-roads of no importance, the intersection of these different roads at Glendale may be represented by a square, the four angles of which, each facing a cardinal point, would mark the entrance of the four principal roads into the clearing. The Confederates, who had crossed the White Oak Swamp by following the tracks of Heintzelman, or those who had followed the right bank, were to debouch by the Charles City road into the northern angle; those who had come down by the Central or New Market road were to unite,
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