otected by the James, and flanks partially covered by gunboats.
Tidings, however, had been received that the enemy was pushing swiftly upon us in several columns of immense numbers, apparently determined to crush us or drive us into the river that night.
They opened fiercely with shell upon Smith's division at White Oak bridge.
After burning down the house of a good secessionist, and breaking his leg, the enemy extended his line of fire, and soon engaged our entire rear-guard, striking at Slocum, who was guarding against a flank movement designed to cut our column in twain.
Long before this, our vanguard had debouched from the road into the fleld before Turkey Bend, and our reserve artillery was powerfully posted on Malvern Hill, a magnificent bluff covering Hardin's Landing, where our gunboats were cruising.
Here was a glorious prospect.
Though our gallant fellows were bravely holding the fierce enemy at bay to cover the swiftly escaping trains, it was clear our troubles were