War of the Rebellion: Serial 013 Page 0020 THE PENINSULAR CAMPAIGN, VA. Chapter XXIII.

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falling upon the division of Hooker. Just as the new line was gained I was called from the field by intelligence which tended strongly to confirm the belief that Jackson was really approaching. I immediately repaired to the camp of General Fitz John Porter, commanding on the right of the Chickahominy, to obtain further information and arrange the movement for the morrow. On my arrival I found that there was a strong probability of Jackson's advancing, although not a certainty of it. I therefore determined to leave our heavy guns in battery and to retain McCall's division in its strong position on Beaver Dam Creek, near Mechanicsville, posting merely small outposts to watch the crossings near Meadow Bridge and Mechanicsville and to give General McCall immediate notice of the enemy's approach. Porter's remaining troops were to be held in reserve, ready to act according to circumstances. The center and left of the army were also to be held in readiness to repulse any attack or to move to the assistance of the right. It had long before been determined to hold the position of Beaver Dam Creek in the event of being attacked on that side, for the reasons that the position was intrinsically a very strong one, was less liable to be turned on either flank than any position in advance of it, and brought the army in a more concentrated and manageable condition. The natural strength of the position had been somewhat increased by slight rifle pits and felling a little timber in front of it. With the exception of epaulements for artillery near Gaines' and Hogan's houses to act against the enemy's batteries on the right bank of the Chickahominy, there were no other artificial defenses on the left bank of that stream.

Our position on the right bank of the river had been rendered reasonably secure against assault by felling timber and the construction of slight earthworks. Measures had already been taken to secure the passage of White Oak Swamp. The right wing, under the command of General Fitz John Porter, consisted of the divisions of Morell, Sykes, and McCall, with a large part of the cavalry reserve. He had ten heavy guns in battery on the banks of the Chickahominy.

Such was the state of affairs on the morning of June 26 I was by that time satisfied that I had to deal with at least double my numbers, but so great was my confidence in the conduct of the officers, and the bravery, discipline and devotion of my men, that I felt contended calmly to await the bursting of the coming storm, ready to profit by any fault of the enemy, and sure that I could extricate the army from any difficulty in which it might become involved.

No other course was open to me, for my information in regard to the movements of the enemy was too meager to enable me to take a decided course. I had not long to wait. During the afternoon of the 26th the enemy crossed in several columns in the vicinity of Mechanicsville and Meadow Bridge and attacked McCall in his position at Beaver Dam Creek.

Hi repeated efforts were constantly repulsed, with but little loss on our side, but with great slaughter on the part of the enemy. The contest ceased here about 9 p.m., the enemy leaving us in full possession of every part of the field of battle.

During the action McCall was supported by the brigades of Martindale and Griffin of the division of Morell. While this was going on there were some sharp affairs of pickets on the center and left, but nothing of a serious nature.

By this time I had certain information that Jackson was rapidly advancing in strong force from Hanover Court-House; that his advance guard had probably participated in the battle of Beaver Dam