, which had crossed the Antietam during the night and lay in reserve a mile to the rear, was ordered up to support and relieve Hooker's troops.
Of this corps, the first division, under General Williams, took position on the right, and the second, under General Greene, on the left.
During the deployment, that veteran soldier, General Mansfield, fell mortally wounded.
The command of the corps fell to General Williams, and the division of the latter to General Crawford, who, with his own and Gordon's brigade, made an advance across the open field, and succeeded in seizing a point of woods on the west side of the Hagerstown road.
At the same time, Greene's division on the left was able to clear its front, and crossed into the left of the Dunker church.
Yet the tenure of these positions was attended with heavy loss; the troops, reduced to the attempt to hold their own, began to waver and break, and General Hooker was being carried from the field severely wounded, when, opportunely, tow
Then pushing out several hundred yards, the corps took position on the hither side of a piece of woods that lies between the river and the Virginia Central Railroad, distant a mile and a half.
Nothing more than a heavy skirmish line was at first met, the only Confederate force at the moment present being a single brigade of Wilcox's divison of Hill's corps, under command of Colonel Brown.
But this was soon re-enforced by the three other brigades of the division,
The brigades of Scales, Gordon, and Thomas. and by Heth's division.
Warren's line was just about to begin intrenching itself in the position taken up, when, a little past five o'clock, Griffin, holding the centre, was furiously assailed by the force above enumerated, which suddenly developed double lines of battle.
Griffin effectually repulsed the attack, and with such loss to the assailants, that the Confederate commander, while continuing to hold three brigades on Griffin's front, detached the brigade under Brown to m
ing of the 25th of March was appointed for the attack.
It was to be made by two divisions under Gordon; but to render it as forcible as possible, all the additional troops available (about twenty thos well known that there was great dereliction of duty on the part of the supporting columns; for Gordon's attack was left almost wholly unsupported, notwithstanding that Lee had massed in the vicinitye the divisions of Wilcox, Pickett, Bushrod Johnson, and the remnant of Ewell's corps, now under Gordon.
Taking from these corps all he dared—two divisions and three brigades—he assembled a force of Army of Northern Virginia now presented this sorry spectacle.
A thin line of battle, made up of Gordon's troops in front; another scant line composed of the wreck of Longstreet's corps in rear—in alles of some thousands of unarmed stragglers, too weak to carry their muskets.
Lee sent orders to Gordon to cut his way through at all hazards.
This was immediately begun with wonderful impetuosity, a<