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[25] the long struggle between the two large armies of the Potomac and Northern Virginia, which, after unheard — of sacrifices on both sides, terminated in the annihilation of the latter at the end of three years.

The town of Williamsburg was full of Confederate wounded. The spacious halls of the college, which had been converted into a hospital, presented a painful sight to the uninitiated. But the most cruel sufferings were reserved for those soldiers of both parties who had fallen in the midst of the abatis. Hidden under the branches of the felled trees, they escaped for a long time the most active search, and on the third day after the battle some were taken out who had yet a spark of life. During the evening of that same day the dry wood was set on fire by accident; the conflagration spread rapidly, and stifling the agonizing cries of those who were perhaps still waiting for the succor of their friends, swept away the last traces of the victims of the struggle.

The Confederates had three thousand men disabled, and left six hundred unhurt prisoners in the hands of the Federals. The latter lost two thousand and seventy-three men in killed and wounded, and six hundred and twenty-three prisoners. Two-thirds of these losses fell to the share of Hooker's division, at the evening roll-call of which one thousand five hundred and seventy-five combatants were missing, one thousand two hundred and forty of whom had fallen by the fire of the enemy. These telling figures show that it had borne the whole brunt of that day's fight.

The Federals had lost six guns, but they picked up six others, which the enemy abandoned in the suburbs of Williamsburg. Everything bore evidence that the retreat of the Confederates had at first been precipitate and disorderly. The road was strewn for miles with cannon, wagons, and equipments. In these trophies the army of the Potomac beheld the most substantial proof of its success; and on entering the forts and the town of Williamsburg the day after the important battle, it had no need to inquire whether the enemy intended to dispute any further the possession of those places. Consequently, although that battle had, in reality, been undecided, its effect upon the morale of the two armies was entirely to the advantage of the Federals. Unfortunately

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