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[94] At the point where this breadth is greatest stands the building which gives its name to the important cross-roads of Cold Harbor. Among the roads crossing at this point, one connects at Bethesda with that from Mechanicsville to the Pamunky; another leads to Mechanicsville by way of the houses of New Cold Harbor and Doctor Gaines'; a third, passing by McGee's farm, at a distance of three or four hundred feet from Cold Harbor, descends toward the Chickahominy, to continue its course through the woods as far as Dispatch station. The causeway constructed by Colonel Alexander, leading to the bridge which bears his name, struck this road a little above the point where it penetrated into the marshy forest bordering the large clearing; and finally, a cross-road branched off from this same point, connecting it directly with New Cold Harbor, and running beside a long narrow wood belonging to this plantation.

The line of defence selected by General Barnard rested its left on the Chickahominy below the Gaines house. This portion of the line could have been effectively protected by the small stream called Powhite Creek, which runs at right angles to the course of the river, and on which Gaines' Mill is situated; but it had been laid out two or three hundred feet in rear, through a long strip of wood rather narrow and easy of access, which descended nearly to the river. It fronted westward. The centre of the line, placed at right angles and facing north, followed the New Cold Harbor road, resting upon the woods; thence it stretched over a considerable space of decidedly undulating ground, and crossed an open field, terminating on the other side of the same wood, the extremity of which it intersected. The right of the line, still more drawn back, was traced across McGee's farm on the road from Cold Harbor to Dispatch, resting upon the impassable swamps which border the large clearing on this side.

A little before daylight McCall left the position of Beaver-dam, which he had so well defended the day before. The brigades of Martindale and Griffin of Morell's division, which had come the previous evening to take position alongside of him, but had not been in action, remained to cover his retreat. The Confederates soon attacked them with as much fierceness, but with as little success, as on the preceding day. Taking advantage of a moment's

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