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 pause, while his adversaries were resting, Morell quickly abandoned the works he occupied, and hastened to join the rest of Porter's corps at Gaines' Mill without being pursued. At noon on the 27th the twenty-five thousand men composing this corps awaited the enemy in the position we have described. All their baggage, all their materiel, their park of siege guns and their reserve artillery, had been transferred, during the night or early in the morning, to the other side of the Chickahominy; the difficult task entrusted to the right wing of the army of the Potomac was not to throw any obstacle in the way of the enemy to prevent him from extending his lines and cutting the railroad, but simply to bar his approach to the river. General McClellan, as we have before remarked, had no other object in view but to prevent his opponent from crossing this stream during the movement he was obliged to make in order to reach the James. But he was of opinion that to defend the right bank it was necessary to wait with firm attitude for the Confederates on the left bank; otherwise, they could have rapidly descended as far as Bottom's Bridge, or even Long's Bridge, and there finding crossings which the Federals could not guard, they could fall upon the seemingly less exposed flank of the long columns which were about to march in toward the James. Porter placed Morell in the narrow wood which extends back of Powhite Creek. The three brigades belonging to this division were thus disposed: Butterfield on the left, in the flat lands adjoining the river; Martindale in the centre, occupying the edge of the Powhite wood; Griffin on the right, deployed across the forest of which this wood is only the extremity, and resting upon New Cold Harbor. The position of the last was a difficult one, for his line was not fortified by any depression in the ground, while the thickness of the surrounding foliage exposed it to all surprises of the enemy. Sykes' division formed the centre and the right of Porter's corps. The brigades were deployed in two lines each consisting of two regiments. McCall's division was placed in reserve; one of his brigades under Meade on the left, in rear of Morell's troops; the rest under Reynolds and Seymour, on the extreme right, observing the road to Dispatch station. Twelve batteries, half of which were regular artillery, supported
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