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[118] of disbanded Federals as the bow of a vessel cleaves the waves of the sea. It struck the advance of the Confederates obliquely and checked it, with the aid of the Twelfth Corps artillery.

A dramatic, though tragic, feature of the rout was the charge of the Eighth Pennsylvania cavalry, under Major Keenan, in the face of almost certain death, to save the artillery of the Third Corps from capture. The guns rested upon low ground and within reach of the Confederates. The Federals had an equal opportunity to seize the artillery, but required a few minutes to prepare themselves for action. The Confederate advance must be checked for these few moments, and for this purpose Keenan gallantly led his five hundred cavalrymen into the woods, while his comrades brought the guns to bear upon the columns in gray. He gained the necessary time, but lost his life at the head of his regiment, together with Captain Arrowsmith and Adjutant Haddock, who fell by his side.

The light of day had faded from the gruesome scene. The mighty turmoil was silenced as darkness gathered, but the day's carnage was not ended. No camp-fires were lighted in the woods or on the plain. The two hostile forces were concealed in the darkness, watching through the shadows, waiting for — they knew not what. Finally at midnight the order “Forward” was repeated in subdued tones along the lines of Sickles' corps. Out over the open and into the deep, dark thicket the men in blue pursued their stealthy advance upon the Confederate position. Then the tragedies of the night were like that of the day, and the moon shed her peaceful rays down upon those shadowy figures as they struggled forward through the woods, in the ravines, over the hillocks. The Federals, at heavy loss, gained the position, and the engagement assumed the importance of a victory.

It was on this day that death robbed the South of one of her most beloved warriors. After darkness had

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