A life of Robert E Lee PART 3. ch 3

 
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PART III.
ON THE CHICKAHOMINY.
III. The Battle of the Chickahominy
On the morning of the 26th of June, 1862, all was ready for the great encounter of arms between the Confederates and the Federal forces on the Chickahominy. General Jackson had been delayed on his march from the mountains, and had not yet arrived but it was known that he was near, and would soon make his appearance and, in the afternoon, General Lee accordingly directed that the movement should commence. At the word, General A.P. Hill moved from his camps to Meadow Bridge, north of Richmond crossed the Chickahominy there, and moved rapidly on Mechanicsville, where a small Federal force, behind intrenchments, guarded the head of the bridge. This force was not a serious obstacle, and Hill soon disposed of it. He attacked the Federal works, stormed them after a brief struggle, and drove the force which had occupied them back toward Beaver Dam Creek, below. The Mechanicsville bridge was thus cleared and, in compliance with his orders from Lee, General Longstreet hastened to throw his division across. Hill had meanwhile pressed forward on the track of the retreating enemy, and, a mile or two below, found himself in front of a much more serious obstruction than that encountered at the bridge, namely, the formidable position held by the enemy on Beaver Dam Creek.

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