from fifteen to twenty thousand men strongly intrenched. The odds were too great. Hooker, who is an admirable soldier, held his own for some time; but he had to give way and fall back, leaving in the woods and in these terrible abatis some two thousand of his men killed and wounded, with several of his guns which he could not bring off. The enemy followed him as he fell back. The division of General Kearney, having passed the crowded road, and marching upon the guns at the pas de course, re-established the battle. The fight had now rolled from the edges of the plain into the forest; and it was sharp, for the enemy was strongly reinforced. The Federals fought not less firmly, encouraged by their chiefs, looker, Heintzelman, and Kearney. Kearney in especial, who lost an arm in Mexico, and fought with the French at the Muzaia and at Solferino, had displayed the finest courage.1 All his
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1 The general acceded to his urgent request, and immediately ordered up Kearney's division to his aid. He could not have sent a better man. Kearney was of that chivalrous character so often to be met with in the French army. tie had lost an arm in the Mexican War, and he afterwards joined the French army as a volunteer aide-de-camp in the Italian campaign, greatly distinguishing himself at both Solferino and Magenta. Kearney brought up his men at the double quick to support Hooker, although the execrable state of the roads somewhat retarded him; but he eventually reached the hard-pressed division. It was a fine sight to see Kearney lead on his men, eager for the fight as they were. He seemed to be ubiquitous,--now leading on his centre, now ordering up a battery, in another moment charging at the head of his troops. His striking, manly form was prominent wherever the fight was thickest, setting a noble example to his soldiers. The opposing troops were soon intermingled in a regular melee, and both sides fought desperately. Owing to the state of the ground, our cavalry was not serviceable, much to the regret of its officers: it was also very difficult for the artillery to manoeuvre. The struggle, which had commenced at the verge of a wood, was gradually drawn into the forest itself, and here, under the cracking branches of venerable trees, amidst the roar of the artillery, many desperate hand-to-hand encounters took place, such as have seldom been witnessed in other wars. --Estvan's War-Pictures from the South, p. 277.The author of the above work was a Prussian officer, serving in the Confederate army.
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