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[260] This was a sunken road, an excellent thing when it has the right direction, perpendicular to the enemy's line of approach, but a dangerous trap if the enemy can obtain an enfilading position. The salient outline here involved this danger.

In the second affair of the day, as has been told, D. H. Hill had sent three of his five brigades forward to support the flank of Hood's attack, and these brigades (Colquitt's, Ripley's, and Garland's) had remained holding advanced ground about the Roulette house, a few hundred yards in front of the sunken road before referred to. Here they had already suffered severe losses.

When Sedgwick's division was driven back and hardly pressed, Sumner had sent word to French and Richardson to attack, in order to make a diversion. From his position in echelon, on Sedgwick's left and rear, French soon came into collision with D. H. Hill's advanced brigades. These made a stubborn defence for a while, but their front was narrow and on its exposed right flank was Garland's brigade, which, on the 14th, had been routed and badly cut up at Turner's Gap. Hill reports:—

Garland's brigade (Col. MacRae commanding), had been much demoralized by the fight on South Mountain, but the men advanced with alacrity, secured a good position, and were fighting bravely when Capt. Thompson, 5th N. C., cried out, “They are flanking us.” This cry spread like an electric shock along the ranks, bringing up vivid recollections of the flank fire at South Mountain. In a moment they broke and fled to the rear; Col. MacRae, though wounded, remained on the field all day and succeeded in gathering up some stragglers and personally rendered much efficient service. The 23d N. C. of this brigade was brought off by the gallant Lt.-Col. Johnston and posted by my orders in the old road already described. Ripley's brigade had united with Walker's and fallen back with it behind the ridge to the left of this road and near to it. We had now lost all the ground wrested from the enemy, and were occupying the position held in the morning; but three of my brigades had been broken and much demoralized, and all of the artillery had been withdrawn from my front.’

Out of 10 field-officers in Colquitt's brigade, which had fought after the giving way of Garland's brigade until its ranks were nearly mingled with the enemy's, four were killed and six wounded.

Hill now had left in the sunken road only two of his original

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D. H. Hill (4)
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