that a line of battle could not well cross in under fire, and the distance from the creek to the works was about 1,000 yards, the intervening ground being perfectly open. The works appeared to be filled with men, and a number of pieces of artillery were in position. After a careful examination of the position it was decided that the chances of successful assault were unfavorable, and it was determined to maneuver to the right, with the view of turning the position. Meanwhile the cavalry had moved to the right toward Malvern Hill and to the front on the New Market and Long Bridge road. Gibbon's division held the advance position on the New Market and Malvern Hill road while Barlow's and Mott's divisions were pushed forward to the New Market and Long Bridge, connecting with the cavalry near the fork of the Central road. General Barlow, commanding First Division, made a close reconnaissance of the enemy's line, but was unable to find the flank. The cavalry, by one or two spirited charges on my right, gained possession of some high open ground, which it was hoped might enable them to get in rear of the enemy's line, but, as subsequently ascertained, the enemy's line was refused on this flank, turning sharply to their left near Fussell's Mill. About 3. 30 p. m. Lieutenant-General Grant visited the line, but I did not see him. Having examined the position, he left me a note stating that he did not see that much could be done, but that if it was possible for me to roll up the enemy's left toward Chaffin's Bluff, and thus release our cavalry, he desired it done. He stated that according to his information the enemy had in my front seven brigades of infantry and a small force of cavalry. Night coming on put a stop to further operations.
During the night of the 27th I received intelligence that the enemy were re-enforcing from the south side of the James. Birge's brigade, of the Tenth [Nineteenth] Corps (a little over 2,500 strong), reported to me early on the morning of the 28th and relieved Gibbon's division from its advanced position on the New Market and Malvern Hill road. General Sheridan was also placed under my orders and it was decided that he should advance up the Central or Charles City road, if either could be opened. Brigadier-General Foster was directed by General Butler to make a vigorous demonstration in his immediate front to attack as many of the enemy as possible to that point. By a telegram from General grant to General Meade (a copy of which reached me at 10 o'clock on the morning of the 27th), I was informed that General Grant did not desire me to attack the enemy's works, but to turn their position. The dispatch expressed the opinion of General Grant that the cavalry by going well out might turn the enemy's flank. Preparations were made to carry out the views of General Grant, but it become evident at an early hour that the enemy having been largely re-enforce would assume the offensive, and they were discovered moving to my right in strong force about 8 a. m. The fire of the gun-boats in the river was directed on the enemy by means of signals, and was effective in changing the direction of their march. About 10 a. m. the cavalry skirmish line was driven in on the New Market and Long Bridge road and on the crossroad leading over the Charles City road by Ruffin's house, and a vigorous attack was made by the enemy upon our cavalry at both points, which compelled it to retire some distance. Gibbon's division was hurried up to the support of the cavalry, but before it arrived the attacking force of the enemy had been disposed of by a gallant advance of our cavalry (dismounted), driving the enemy over a mile, capturing nearly 200 prisoners and several colors. The prisoners belonged