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[410] got possession only of empty trenches. Johnson's other brigades found the trenches in front of their approach held by Greene's thin line, but in the darkness of the woods, the steep and rocky ground, and the abattis and obstructions in front, Johnson's line was halted at irregular distances, and the attack resolved itself into a random and ineffective musketry fire. Nothing more was possible. And even had they found more trenches vacant and occupied them, Meade could at will concentrate ample force to drive them out. The more one studies the situation, the more strange it seems that Lee abandoned his first purpose to withdraw Johnson from his false position.

Early's attack is next to be described. It, too, was isolated, inadequate, and unsupported. It necessarily failed. Both attacks were in progress at the same time, but Longstreet's, which they were intended to support, had already ceased. Like Johnson's division, Early was also short of one brigade, Smith's having been sent to guard the rear from the direction of York. Gordon also was not engaged, as Early soon realized that the attack was an isolated one and would be quickly repulsed.

Early's report gives the following details: —

. . . As soon as Johnson became warmly engaged, which was a little before dusk, I ordered Hays and Avery to advance and carry the works on the height in front. These troops advanced in gallant style to the attack, passing over the ridge in front of them under a heavy artillery fire, and then crossing a hollow between that and Cemetery Hill and moving up this hill in the face of at least two lines of infantry posted behind stone and plank fences; but these they drove back, and passing over all obstacles they reached the crest of the hill and entered the enemy's breastworks crowning it, getting possession of one or two batteries.

‘But no attack was made on the immediate right, as was expected, and not meeting with support from that quarter, these brigades could not hold the position they had attained, because a very heavy force of the enemy was turned against them from that part of the line which the divisions on the right were to have attacked, and these brigades had, therefore, to fall back, which they did with comparatively slight loss, considering the nature of the ground over which they had to pass, and the immense odds opposed to them, and Hays's brigade brought off four stands of captured colors. Gen. Rodes did not advance for reasons given in his report.’

The maps show that Hays's brigade on the right had only

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