This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
 that of their adversaries was even more so, and the connection which such a corps ought to preserve between all sections of an army was entirely wanting in the Confederate ranks. In consequence of this defect of organization, Longstreet was not apprised of Hancock's movement, nor of the menacing position which the latter had taken upon his flank. It is certainly strange that the Confederates should have allowed those four Federal battalions to remain in peaceful possession during a whole day of a redoubt by which their entire line of defence could be turned; but is it not more singular that none of them even thought of occupying the works they had constructed with their own hands in anticipation of such a struggle? It is already four o'clock; Hooker has been driven back into the woods, and the approaches to Fort Magruder are entirely free; it is at this juncture that Longstreet turns his attention, for the first time, toward his left, and perceiving Hancock, thinks of dislodging him. He sends against him Early's brigade, the commander of which was destined, like his young adversary, to play an important part during the remainder of the war. Seeing the Federals fall back upon the farthest redoubt, Early's soldiers imagine that they are already in flight and rush upon them; but being received at point-blank range by a well-directed fire, they are driven back in disorder. The Federals, urged on by the valiant Hancock, pursue them sword in hand. It is now five o'clock—the moment when Kearny comes into line at the other extremity of the battle-field. General McClellan at last arrived among the combatants. While a salvo of musketry and the hurrahs of Hancock's brigade announced to him this brilliant passage-at-arms from a distance, the Federal troops, massed in various places along the road, who had felt most keenly the absence of all direction during the battle, received their chief with acclamations. The Confederates, on their side, satisfied in having held their ground around Fort Magruder, did not attempt another attack against Hancock. Night came on while the various Federal corps recently arrived were taking their position, and the left was forming a connection with the right; the continuation of the battle was therefore adjourned to the next day.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.