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BATTLE OF ANTIETAM.
town road and the woods beyond it in the vicinity of the Dunker Church, where Jackson's line lay. The contest was obstinate and severe. The National batteries on the east side of the Antietam poured an enfilading fire on Jackson that galled him very much, and it was not long before the Confederates were driven with heavy loss beyond the first line of woods, and across an open field, which was covered thickly in the morning with standing corn.'
Hooker now advanced his center under Meade to seize the Hagerstown road and the woods beyond. They were met by a murderous fire from Jackson, who had just been re-enforced by Hood's refreshed troops, and had brought up his reserves. These issued in great numbers from the woods, and fell heavily upon Meade in the cornfield. Hooker called upon Doubleday for aid, and a brigade under the gallant General Hartsuff was instantly forwarded at the double-quick, and passed across the cornfield in the face of a terrible storm of shot and shell. It fought desperately for half an hour unsupported, when its leader fell severely wounded.
In the mean time Mansfield's corps had been ordered up to the support of Hooker, and while the divisions of Williams and Greene, of that corps, were deploying, the veteran commander was mortally wounded. The charge of his corps then devolved on General Williams, who left his division to the care of General Crawford. The latter, with his own and Gordon's brigade, pushed across the open field and seized a part of the woods on the Hagerstown road. At the same time Green's division took position to the left of the Dunker Church.
Hooker had lost heavily by battle and straggling, yet he was contending manfully for victory. Doubleday's guns had silenced a Confederate battery on the extreme right, and Ricketts was struggling against a foc constantly increasing, but was bravely holding his ground without power to advance. The fight was very severe, and at length the National line began to waver and give way. Hooker, while in the van, was so severely wounded in the foot that he was taken from the field at nine o'clock, and to McClellan's head-quarters at Pry's, leaving his command to Sumner, who had just arrived on the field with his own corps. Up to this time the battle had been fought much in detail, both lines advancing and falling back as each received re-enforcements.
Sumner at once sent General Sedgwick to the support of Crawford and
1 Hood had been withdrawn during the night, and his troops had been replaced by the brigades of Lawton and Trimble, of Ewell's corps, with Jackson's “Stonewall Brigade" under 1. R. Jones, supported by the remaining brigades of Ewell. Jackson, surrounded by the remnant of his old command, was in charge of the Confederate left. That remnant, according to his report, was not more than 4,000 strong, it having been almost decimated by Nghting from the Rapid Anna to the Potomac, and by straggling in Maryland.
In this encounter the Confederate leaders Lawton and Jongh were wounded, and Early took the place of the former in command.
BATTLE OF ANTIETAM.
Gordon, and Richardson and French bore down upon the foe more to the left, when the corn-field, already won and lost by both parties, was regained by the Nationals, who held the ground around the Dunker Church. Victory seemed certain for the latter, for Jackson and Hood had commenced retiring, when fresh troops under McLaws and Walker came to Jackson's support, seconded by Early on their left. These pressed desperately forward, penetrated the National line at a Gap between Sumner's right and center, and the Unionists were driven back to the first line of woods east of the Hagerstown road, when the victors, heavily smitten by the National artillery, and
menaced by unflinching Doubleday, withdrew to their original position near the church. Sedgwick, twice wounded, was carried from the field, when the command of his division devolved on General 0. 0. Howard. Generals Crawford and Dana were also wounded.
It was now about noon, and fighting had been going on since dawn. The wearied right needed immediate support. It came at a timely moment. Franklin had come up from below, and McClellan, who remained on the east side of the Antietam, sent him over to assist the hard-pressed right. He formed on Howard's left, and at once sent Slocum with his division toward the center. At the same time General Smith was ordered to retake
1 This was the appearance of the scene when the author sketched it, at the beginning of October, 1863. The view is from the grove, mentioned in the text, from which McClellan watched the battle, according to the statement of Mr. Pry, who accompanied bim. The birls in the picture are over certain localities. The single bird on the left is over Alfred Cort's burn, whose house is seen in the middle ground. The two birds are ove: the Dunker Church; the three birds denote the place of Mumma's house; the four birds indicate the position of a burying-gronnd, and the five birds are over the spot at the edge of the woods, in the extreme distance, where General Mansfield was killed.
BATTLE OF ANTIETAM.
the ground over which there had been so much contention and bloodshed. Within fifteen minutes after the order was given it was executed. The Confederates were driven from the open field and beyond the Hagerstown road by gallant charges, accompanied by loud cheers, first by Franklin's Third Brigade, under Colonel Irwin, and then by the Seventh Maine. Inspired by this success, Franklin desired to push forward and seize a rough wooded position of importance; but Sumner thought the movement would be too hazardous, and he was restrained.
Meanwhile the divisions of French and Richardson had been busy. The former, with the brigades of Weber, Kimball, and Morris (the latter raw troops), pushed on toward the center, Weber leading; and while he was fighting hotly, French received orders from Sumner to press on vigorously and make a diversion in favor of the right. After a severe contest with the brigades of Hill (Colquitt's, Ripley's, and McRae's) not engaged with Jackson, the Confederates were pressed back to a sunken road in much disorder. In the mean time the division of Richardson, composed of the brigades of Meagher, Caldwell, and Brooks, which crossed the Antietam between nine and ten o'clock, moved forward to the attack on French's left. Right gallantly did Meagher fight his way up to the crest of a hill overlooking the Confederates at the sunken road, suffering dreadfully from a tempest of bullets; and when his ammunition was almost exhausted, Caldwell, aided by a part of Brooks's brigade, as gallantly came to his support and relief.
Hill was now re-enforced by about four thousand men, under R. II. Anderson, and the struggle was fierce for a while, the Confederates trying to seize a ridge on the National left for the purpose of turning that flank. This was frustrated by a quick and skillful movement by Colonel Cross with his “ Fighting Fifth " New Hampshire. He and the Confederates had a race for the ridge along parallel lines, fighting as they ran. Cross won it, and being re-enforced by the Eighty-first Pennsylvania, the Confederates were driven back with a heavy loss in men, and the colors of the Fourth North Carolina. An effort to flank the right at the same time was checked by French, Brooks, and a part of Caldwell's force, and a charge of the Confederates directly on Richardson's front was quickly repulsed. The National line was steadily advanced until the foe was pushed back to Dr. Piper's house, near the Sharpsburg road, which formed a sort of citadel for them, and there they made an obstinate stand. Richardson's artillery was now brought up, and while that brave leader was directing the fire of Captain Graham's battery, he was felled by a ball that proved fatal. General W. S. Hancock succeeded him in command, when a charge was made that drove the Confederates from Piper's in the utmost confusion, and only the skillful show of strength by a few of his fresh troops prevented a fatal severance of
i See note 2, page 410.
? Colonel Francis C. Barlow performed eminent service at this point in the struggle. With the Sixty-Arst and Sixty-fourth New York he attacked the fank of the Confederate force that was trying to enflade the National line, and captured three hundred of the men and three dags. With these two regiments, assisted by Kimball's brigade, he so gallantly charged the Confederates on the right of Caldwell, that they were r.pulsed and scattered in great confusion.
General Richardson was taken to McClellan's head-quarters (Pry's), where ho died after suffering seven weeks.
WINFIELD 6. IAXCOCK.
Lee's line.' The Nationals were deceived, and did not profit by the ad-
Unionists holding the ground they
During the severe conflicts of
sent two brigades to support the wearied right, and six battalions of Sykes's regulars were thrown across bridge No. 2, on the Sharpsburg road, to drive away the Confederate sharp-shooters, who were seriously interfering with Pleasanton's horse batteries there, Warren's brigade was sent more to the left, on the right and rear of Burnside, who held the extreme left of the National line. This brings us to a notice of the operations of the day under the directions of Burnside.
The left was resting on the slopes opposite bridge No. 3, at Rohrback's farm, a little below Sharpsburg, which was held on the morning of the 17th by the brigade of Toombs (Second and Twentieth Georgia), supported by sharp-shooters and batteries on Longstreet's right wing, commanded by D. R. Jones. Burnside was directed, at eight o'clock in the morning, to cross that bridge, attack the foe, carry the heights on the opposite bank of the Antietam, and advance along their crest upon Sharpsburg. It was a task
1 D. H. Hill, in his report, speaking of the struggle at this point, declared that affairs looked very critical," for the Nationals were within a few hundred yards of the hill which commanded Sharpsburg and the Confederato
THE BURNSIDE BRIDGE.