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[579] lost one thousand men in ten minutes there. Two assaults on Marye's hill were repulsed. A flag of truce was then sent by the enemy to obtain permission to provide for the wounded. The weakness of our lines was seen. A third assault was ordered, and was successful. We lost eight pieces of artillery upon that and the adjacent heights. Barksdale and Hays retired down the Telegraph road, and the enemy's advance was checked by Early, who sent three regiments of Gordon's brigade to reinforce them.

Wilcox threw himself in front of Sedgwick's advance up the Plank road, having with him about fifty cavalry, under Collins, and most gallantly disputed it — falling back slowly until he reached Salem church, five miles from Fredericksburg. Lieutenant Pitzer, of Early's staff, who was on Lee's hill when it was carried, galloped at once to General Lee, and so informed him. McLaws, with his three brigades and one of Anderson's, was ordered to reinforce Wilcox, that Sedgwick might be kept off Lee's rear. Wilcox was found in line at Salem. Kershaw and Wofford were placed on his right; Semmes and Mahone on his left. The enemy then advanced in three lines, principally upon Wilcox. After a fierce struggle, they were repulsed and fled in confusion, pursued for nearly a mile by Wilcox and Semmes, until met by the enemy's reserve. They then retired to their former position.

McLaws communicated with Early that night, asking his plans. Early replied he proposed to attack in the morning and drive the enemy from Marye's and Lee's hills, extending his left so as to connect with McLaws' right, and asking his co-operation. That night he received a note from General McLaws assenting to the plan and containing General Lee's approval of it too. Early on the morning of the 4th, Early advanced along the Telegraph road, regaining Marye's and the adjacent hills, but he could not hear McLaws' guns. McLaws says in his report that he agreed to advance, provided Early would attack first, and did advance his right (Kershaw and Wofford to co-operate with him); but finding his force insufficient for a front attack, he withdrew to his lines of the previous evening. In the meantime, Early was informed that Anderson was coming and not to attack until he was in position, connecting with Early's left, when, at a signal to be given by firing three guns rapidly, Sedgwick was to be assaulted by Anderson, McLaws and Early, under the immediate command of General Lee. Anderson reached Salem church about noon, but the attack did not begin until 6 P. M.--owing, General Lee says, to the difficulty of getting the troops in position. Stuart, with Jackson's


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J. A. Early (8)
Lafayette McLaws (7)
Fitzhugh Lee (6)
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