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[70] greatly in his favor. Huger had made his appearance after the battle, and Generals Holmes and Ripley had just arrived in Richmond from North Carolina with eight thousand men. This timely reinforcement would perhaps permit them to resume the attack with greater hope of success, as the rise in the river rendered the position of the Federals more difficult. But in the absence of Johnston, who had alone conceived the plan of battle, prudence prevailed, and Smith would have given the signal for retreat that very night, if he had not been obliged to give his soldiers a few hours' rest, and his officers time to rally and reorganize their troops. Consequently, when day dawned upon the two armies no sound disturbed at first the silence which reigned over the battlefield; and it was the Federals who renewed the conflict on the morning of the 1st of June. During the evening Hooker had again struck into the Williamsburg road, while Richardson had joined Sedgwick near Fair Oaks. These two divisions, advancing to the front line, attacked the Confederates, who were already in full retreat. Notwithstanding this reinforcement, the troops composing the left wing of the Federals were not in a condition to push into a woody and unknown region, in pursuit of an enemy whose prowess they had just experienced. A movement of this kind could not have been seriously undertaken unless Franklin and Porter, prompted by the same instincts which had inspired old Sumner the day before, should join them on the field of battle. It is true that General McClellan had strongly recommended to his two lieutenants that they should cross the Chickahominy in front of their encampments; but the river had increased in volume since the preceding day; the bridges, which the artillery would have found it difficult to cross on the 31st of May, had become impassable on the 1st of June; and these generals, availing themselves of the latitude which McClellan usually allowed them in the interpretation of his orders, made no movement with their troops. They thus suffered victory to escape them, and their vacillations saved the Confederate army from imminent disaster. Indeed, it has been asserted by eye-witnesses that its retreat was not made without disorder, and that if the Federals had pressed with a sufficient force, even without artillery, the three brigades of Huger's corps, which, under Pickett, Pryor and Mahone,

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