Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 25.djvu/216

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212 South- r a Historical Society Papers.

and when darkness rendered it impossible to prolong the contest, the troops were mingled in such confusion that they wandered into the lines of the enemy in trying to find their respective commands.

The Confederates had failed to get possession of the Willis Church road. Franklin glided past us in the night in easy reach of our artillery. Magruder relieved A. P. Hill about 2 o'clock in the morning of July ist. Jackson followed Franklin over White Oak Swamp. Huger moved from the Charles City to the Long Bridge road, passing over the battlefield where he was so much needed the day before.


Thus on the eventful day of July i, 1862, the Confederate army was stretched along the Willis Church and Long Bridge roads. The enemy, having abandoned their position at Glen Dale during the night, were now safe behind the lines of Fitz-John Porter, who had carefully massed his artillery on the hills around Crew's house. The Ten Thousand, immortalized by Xenophan, did not hail the sea with more delight than did these soldiers, who were only changing their base, welcome the hills that overlooked the historic river on which their gun-boats floated. This position was, perhaps, the strongest occupied by any army during the war. The private sol- diers in the Federal army were quick to see this, and, their writers say, remarked on it as they filed into position. The private soldiers on both sides were then taking their first lessons in the ways of war; later, along the banks of the Antietam and on the heights of Gettys- burg, they proved themselves the best soldiers the world has ever seen. Crew's farm, and not Malvern Hill, was the scene of the en- gagement of July ist. A range of hills, all the approaches to which could be swept by artillery; a swamp difficult to pass, and fringed by a skirt of woods east and north ; on the west an open plateau commanded by the gun-boats in the James; on the south was Mal- vern Heights, frowning with reserve artillery, under the shelter of the gun-boats. In this impregnable position Fitz-John Porter awaited our attack.

Before sunrise, General Magruder's forces, having slept on the field at Frazier's Farm, were in line, and the advance was as far as Willis' Church, when an order came from General Lee to move on the Quaker road with his whole command. Calling to him three guides, and examining them separately to be sure as to which was the Quaker road, he changed the line of march, and, returning to the Long Bridge road, followed the same for about two miles, and