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[382] had been brought up by General Jameson, and a second line was established under a severe fire. Disposition was at once made for further vigorous operations, when profound darkness fell upon the armies, the struggle ceased, and the wearied National soldiers rested on the soddened battle-field.

Meanwhile Hancock had been successfully engaged in his flank movement. He had been dispatched by General Smith at an early hour, with about twenty-five hundred men,1 to seize and hold an unoccupied redoubt at the extreme left of the Confederate position, which had been thrown up by Magruder,

Site of the Dam.2

but was unknown to Johnston and his officers. It was upon a high bank above a ravine commanding a dam on Cub Dam Creek, a little tributary of Queen's Creek, about a mile and a half eastward of the Yorktown road. Hancock d crossed the creek, took possession of the redoubt without opposition, and also of another one twelve hundred yards in advance of it, which was unoccupied. Two more redoubts stood between these and Fort Magruder, and a few shells and the bullets of sharp-shooters soon drove the Confederates from them. But Hancock's force was too small to make their occupation by it a prudent act, and he determined to wait for re-enforcements.

The occupation of the two redoubts on his extreme left by Hancock was the first intimation that Johnston had of their existence. He at once perceived the importance of the position, for it was on the flank and rear of the Confederate line of defense, and seriously menaced its integrity. He directed General Hill to send a sufficient force to drive back the Nationals, and to this duty General Jubal Early, with a force of Virginia and North Carolina troops, was assigned.

Hancock had earnestly called for re-enforcements, but they did not come. Twice General Smith had been ordered to send them, and each time the order was countermanded just as they were about to move, for Sumner was unwilling, he said, to risk the center by weakening it. So, instead of re-enforcements, Hancock received an order to fall back to his first position. He was slow to obey, for he felt the importance of his forward movement, but when, at about. five o'clock, he saw the two redoubts nearest Fort Magruder

1 These consisted of parts of his own, and of Davidson's brigade, which was then under his command. Of his own brigade he chose for this duty the Fifth Wisconsin, Forty-ninth Pennsylvania, and Sixth Maine; and from Davidson's, the Seventh Maine and Thirty-ninth New York Volunteers. These were accompanied by Lieutenant Crowen's New York battery of six guns, and Wheeler's battery.

2 this is a sketch of the appearance of the site of the Dam when the writer visited the spot in June, 1866. it is from a rude bridge then recently thrown across the stream. The redoubt was on the high bank directly ever the little figure. Here the bank, as in many other places on the Peninsula, presented layers of perfect sea-shells (mostly escollop and oyster), the position of which is indicated in the sketch by the horizontal shaded lines near the figure. This Dam was destroyed by Confederates while National troops were crossing the creek below, and the flood thus let loose drowned several soldiers.

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