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[206] By this time, it was dark, and the firing soon ceased; the hostile infantry lying down for the night at points within half musket-shot of each other.

At daylight next morning1 the battle was commenced in earnest: the left of Meade's and the right of Ricketts's line becoming engaged at nearly the same moment, the former with artillery, the latter with infantry; while a battery was pushed forward beyond the woods directly in Hooker's front, across a plowed field, to the edge of a corn-field beyond it, destined before night to be soaked with blood.

Hood's thin division, which had confronted us at evening, had been withdrawn during the night, and replaced by Lawton's and Trimble's brigades of Ewell's division, under Lawton, with Jackson's own division, under D. R. Jones, on its left, supported by the remaining brigades of Ewell. Jackson was in chief command on this wing, and here was substantially his old corps around him. Against these iron soldiers, Hooker's corps hurled itself, and, being superior in numbers, compelled them to give ground; but not until Jones and Lawton had been wounded, with many more field officers, and Starke, who succeeded Jones in command, killed. Early, who succeeded Lawton, was ordered by Jackson to replace Jackson's own division, which had suffered so severely and was so nearly out of ammunition that it had to be temporarily withdrawn from the combat. By this time, Ricketts and Meade had pushed the Rebel line back across the corn-field and the road, into the woods beyond, and was following with eager, exulting cheers.

But Hood's division, somewhat refreshed, had by this time returned to the front, backed by the brigades of Ripley, Colquitt. Garland (now under Col. McRae), and D. R. Jones, by whom the equilibrium of the fight was restored; our men being hurled back by terrible volleys from the woods, followed by a charge across the corn-field in heavy force. Hooker called up his nearest brigade; but it was not strong enough, and he sent at once to Doubleday: “Give me your best brigade instantly!” That brigade came down the hill on our right at double-quick, and was led by Hartsuff into the corn-field, and steadily up the slope beyond it, forming on the crest of the ridge, under a hurricane of shot and shell, and firing steadily and rapidly at the Rebel masses just before them. They held their position half an hour, unsupported, though many fell; among them their leader, Hartsuff, wounded severely; until for a second time the enemy was driven out of the corn-field into the woods.

Meantime, both sides were strengthening this wing. Ricketts's division, having attempted to advance and failed, had fallen back. Part of Mansfield's corps had gone in to their aid, and been driven back likewise, with their General mortally wounded. Doubleday's guns were still busy on our extreme right, and had silenced a Rebel battery which for half an hour had enfiladed Hooker's center. Ricketts sent word that he could not advance, but could hold his ground. Hooker, with Crawford's and Gordon's fresh brigades of

1 Sept. 17.

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