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[59] would not only have disposed of Hancock for the day, but would have thrown a powerful force perpendicular to General Grant's centre and right wing, already confronted by General Ewell.

There is a lull all along the line. It is the ominous stillness that precedes the tornado. Three brigadas under Mahone — a dangerous man — are already in position for the flank attack, whose spectre seems to have been haunting Hancock from the beginning. No wonder, it was so near Chancellorsville. A yell and a volley announce the opening of the tragedy. The din of battle rolls eastward; the enemy are giving way. It is a moment pregnant with momentous results, and to those of us not engaged one of intense anxiety. The left brigades begin to move forward. Already they have made considerable progress; and still eastward roll the fiery billows of war. Can it be possible that we are on the eve of a great victory? But the fire begins to slacken; the advance movement ceases. What can be the cause? Has that single line of attack expended its strength? Oh, for a fresh division, to be hurled upon that shattered, reeling flank! But no; there are no reserves. Heth has not yet reorganized, and Wilcox has moved far to the left to open communication with Ewell. The firing ceases, and the victory, almost won, slips from our grasp.

When Hancock's left had been shattered and driven back, General Longstreet conceived the design of attacking the right flank, also, of the Federal forces south of the Plank road. Their entire line had been so disorganized as to render the success of such an attack almost a certainty. He was riding down the road in company with General Jenkins, at the head of his splendid brigade — the largest in Field's division, and one of the largest in the army — and had almost reached the point where the blow was to be struck. But the evil genius of the South is still hovering over those desolate woods. We almost seem to be struggling against destiny itself. Another needless mistake, like that which a year before, almost on the same ground, had cast “ominous conjecture” upon the success of our cause, now strikes him down upon whom, for the time, every thing depends. General Longstreet is dangerously wounded, and General Jenkins is killed. The command of the corps and that of the brigade devolve respectively upon General Anderson and Colonel Bratton, who, unacquainted doubtless with the situation, and ignorant of the plan to be executed, can of course do nothing.

It does not fall within the scope of this paper to give an account

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