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 yards of the guns, even causing some of them to be abandoned by the cannoneers, and only retired on being attacked in flank by Birney's division of Stoneman's corps, which had been hurried up to Meade's assistance. The Confederate line then withdrew to its original position, leaving heavy pickets on the railroad track, and the Federals desisting from the offensive, no further infantry engagement occurred on this part of the field. During these operations of the infantry, the artillery firing on each side had been unusually heavy and murderous. The Federals not only had ample space to bring into action at close range every gun on the south side of the river, but their heavy rifles on the north bank were used with great accuracy in spite of the long range. One hundred and seventy casualties were caused by this artillery fire in a single division (D. H. Hill's), which was held in reserve and entirely concealed from the enemy's view. The Confederate position was so densely wooded throughout that the guns used had to be concentrated in a very few positions and the loss among them was consequently very severe. Meanwhile on the Confederate left, Sumner essayed to carry out his orders, and events fell out as follows: He selected the long promontory since known as Marye's Hill as the point of his attack. It will be seen from the map that this is the extremity of a plateau, some forty feet high, which borders the canal and terminates in a bluff over Hazel run. The Telegraph road runs along the foot of the declivity, and is here sunken some four feet below the level of the bordering gardens and revetted with stone. The ground in front is cut up with fences, the canal, and a deep cut of the unfinished Fredericksburg and Orange railroad, and was swept by the fire of nine guns of the Washington Artillery on the hill, besides which two thirty-pound rifles and about a half dozen field pieces on Lee's and Howison's hills were able to fire over the approaches to the right flank of the position, while two of Maurin's guns on the left swept the Plank-road from the city to a brick tan-yard which bordered it and the canal. This road and the Telegraph road crossed the canal (which was about twenty feet wide and four feet deep), by two bridges some 200 yards apart opposite the left of the position. Below these bridges the crossing of the canal could be effected without the discovery of the Confederates.
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