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[27] this opportunity was lost in consequence of delays not yet accounted for. Two days after the evacuation of Yorktown, on the evening of the battle of Williamsburg, these forces had not yet embarked, and Franklin's division, which had never left the transports, was waiting in vain for the signal of departure. The orders and counter-orders of which we have just spoken caused fresh delays on the evening of the 5th of May; and leaving the rest of the troops behind, this division started alone during the night. It reached the mouth of the Pamunky River on the 6th, at a place called Eltham, not far from the little village of Bartramsville. Newton's brigade, together with some artillery, was landed before sunset on the right bank of the river, and the process of disembarkation was suspended until the following day.

On the morning of the 7th this operation had just been ended when Franklin's division was fiercely attacked by the Confederates. The whole of Johnston's army had started early on the 6th, just as Longstreet was leaving Williamsburg, and his heads of column had to bivouac that evening in the vicinity of Bartramsville. On learning that the Federals were landing troops in the neighborhood, the Confederate general sent Whiting's division to surprise them in the midst of that delicate operation, to prevent them from menacing his flank, and to try to drive them into the water. Franklin had landed in a vast field surrounded by woods on three sides. The pickets occupying these woods were suddenly attacked by Whiting and driven back, the combat extending to the very verge of the forest. The Federals, shut up within a narrow space of ground, and exposed to the fire of an enemy not yet visible, had some cause to dread a renewal of the Ball's Bluff disaster. But a battery that had been landed on the day previous, and the artillery of the gunboats which accompanied Franklin's expedition, opened their fire upon the skirts of the woods, where the enemy was beginning to show himself, and soon threw his ranks into confusion. In the mean time, a brigade of Sedgwick's division having been landed, the Federals resumed the offensive, and easily repulsed their adversary. They did not venture, however, to follow in pursuit. They had one hundred and ninety-four men disabled.

Hastily falling back upon Richmond after this action, the Confederates

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