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[514] Pontoon bridges were immediately thrown at all three places, and the troops were pushed down-stream, hoping to secure the Shady Grove road bridge. Darkness, however, soon forced a halt, but some of the men reached the river and found it not fordable. At early dawn, Hancock reconnoitred, but found Mahone's brigade on the opposite bank too strongly posted to be attacked. Further reconnoissances were being made, when, about 10 A. M., Hancock was ordered to send two divisions of his three back across the Po to take part in an assault ordered in the afternoon at five. Gibbon and Birney were accordingly withdrawn, leaving Barlow's division alone on the south side.

Meanwhile, when Hancock crossed the Po on the afternoon of the 9th, Lee had ordered Heth's division from his extreme right to the extreme left, with orders to cross below our lines, and, coming up, to strike Hancock's three divisions on the flank. Heth had crossed the Po, some distance below our left flank, on the morning of the 10th, and turned to the right, hunting for Hancock's flank. It was fortunate for him that he had made so wide a circuit that he did not find it until after Hancock, with his two divisions, had been withdrawn to the north side, for Barlow's four brigades alone largely outnumbered him with only three, and Barlow could have been quickly reenforced. Heth would otherwise have lost much of his division, as its retreat across the Po would have been difficult.

As it was, Heth made two spirited charges upon two of Barlow's brigades drawn up behind the crest of a ridge, with the others supporting in the rear. Both charges were repulsed with severe loss, but meanwhile, a fire breaking out in the woods in rear, Meade ordered Barlow withdrawn. This was done with the loss of one gun, wedged between trees by the horses, who were stampeded by the fire. In withdrawing, Barlow suffered severely from the artillery across the Po, which swept the plain over which he reached the bridge. Some of the wounded perished in the fire. Gen. H. H. Walker of Heth's division was severely wounded. It had been a mistake to send Hancock across the Po at such a late hour in the afternoon. Night intervened before he could accomplish anything, and it disclosed his plan. Next day he abandoned it before discovering that Heth was

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