The morning dawned with never a cloud upon the horizon, and for a time an unusual quietude prevailed; though during the night the tramp of Federal soldiery crossing the pontoon bridges was distinctly heard.
The enemy have a pontoon bridge above, and one below, Deep Bottom; therefore, to appear on our right, they are compelled to cross the upper pontoon, not being able to move to our left without re-crossing the James or passing immediately in front of our batteries on New Market Hill.
A splendid brass band on our right strikes up that holy hymn of ancient days, "Old Hundred." Clearly through the calm Sabbath morning's air comes the soft melody of that Heaven-born hymn; and as those notes rise higher and higher yet upon the morning breeze, they seem carrying an invocation upward to the Throne of Grace to aid us in the coming struggle.
Hark! the scene changes; a short distance to our right, the sharp, ringing notes of the skirmisher's rifle warns us of danger ahead —