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 and the ditch on its left, numbering some 3,500 muskets, and forming four ranks along most of the front. Sheltered in various ways on the slope and ridge above were six other regiments, numbering about 2,500 men. Behind the declivity in their front were the remains of the five divisions which had made assaults, numbering, however, probably not more than fourteen thousand men; for Meagher's and Andrews's brigades, and probably some others, had retreated into the town on being repulsed. This was, however, an ample force for offence, and its commanders diligently rallied and reformed it, and made a fresh effort to dislodge their foes without waiting for the Fifth corps. This effort, made about 4 P. M., was favored by an accident for a few minutes, and resulted in a near approach to the Confederate line and one of the bloodiest repulses of the day. At half-past 3 P. M., the Washington Artillery having expended nearly all of its ammunition, and having one gun disabled and many men killed and wounded, Colonel Walton requested that his battalion (the Washington Artillery) should be relieved by a portion of Alexander's battalion. Woolfolk's battery of four guns, with a section of Jordan's under Lieutenant Smith, and three guns under Captain Moody, were accordingly moved up in a ravine close in rear of the Washington Artillery, which now vacated the pits, and cleared the way for their advance at a gallop. It happened that the Washington Artillery was just seen to leave its pits as the enemy began his advance, and supposing it to indicate a general retreat of the Confederate line, and rejoicing to be rid of the canister and shell, the Federals cheered and pressed forward boldly, pouring in at the same time a tremendous fire. Meanwhile the relieving artillery, debouching from the ravine, was delayed for a few precious moments by the leading gun being upset in the narrow road and blocking the column. It was promptly righted, however, and deploying rapidly into the pits, the guns came into action in time to catch the enemy's lines, already checked and staggering under the terrific infantry fire poured into him at such close quarters by the dense ranks behind the wall1 and on the hill. When these nine fresh guns, with chests full of canister, added their missiles to the storm he faced, the halting lines speedily broke — many who had lain down and commenced to fire took to their heels to regain the shelter of the Valley — and the plateau was again deserted.
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