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[298] occupied a ridge on the centre, where Porter's corps, including Sykes's division, was stationed as a reserve.

About three o'clock, General Hooker crossed the Antietam by the bridge on the Hagerstown road and an adjacent ford, and soon gained the crest of the hill on the right bank of the stream. He then turned to the left, and followed down the ridge, under a sharp fire of musketry, which lasted till dark.

During the night, General Mansfield's corps crossed the Antietam by the same bridge and ford used by Hooker's.

At daylight on the 17th, General Hooker attacked the enemy's forces before him, and drove them from the open field in front of the first line of woods into a second line of woods beyond. But out of this second line a very destructive fire was poured from a body of fresh troops, before which our own forces recoiled. General Mansfield's corps was now ordered up, and came promptly into action; and for about two hours the tide of battle swayed to and fro with varying fortunes. The scene of the heaviest fighting was a piece of ploughed land, nearly enclosed by woods, and entered by a corn-field in the rear, on the crest of the hill. Three or four times this position was taken and lost, and the ground was thickly strewn with the bodies of the dead. Early in the fight, the gallant veteran General Mansfield was mortally wounded. General Hartsuff, of Hooker's corps, and General Crawford, of Mansfield's corps,

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