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 The combined attack overpowered the Confederates, and after an hour's severe contest, the whole hostile front was carried, and Hill's divisions under Wilcox and Heth were driven for a mile and a half through the woods under heavy loss and back on the trains and artillery and the Confederate headquarters.1 But here, whether the significance of the success was not understood, or because further advance was rendered impossible, owing to the disintegration of Hancock's line in advancing so far through the thickets, a halt was cried, and a readjustment of the line made. This pause, as will presently appear, forfeited all the gain; for, at the height of Hill's confused retreat, Anderson's division, soon followed by the head of Longstreet's column, came on the ground. When, therefore, about nine o'clock, after an interval of two hours, taken up in the rehabilitation of the line, Hancock, who had been re-enforced by Stevenson's division of the Ninth Corps, in addition to Wadsworth's division, resumed the advance, he met a bitter opposition, and though furious fighting took place, he gained no more headway.2 That it was Longstreet that thus met him, General Hancock did not, at this time, know. Indeed, Longstreet's attack had been anticipated in a very different direction; and the manner in which this expectation influenced Hancock's dispositions is a striking illustration of the kind of agencies that effect the issue of battles. It was known during the night that Longstreet's corps, which had not been in the previous day's action, was marching up from the direction of Orange Courthouse, to reach the field by a route that would strike Hancock's left flank and rear. That officer was cautioned officially
2 The advance was made by Birney's and Mott's divisions, and Webb's, Car. roll's, and Owen's brigades of Gibbon's division, all of the Second Corps, together with Stevenson's division of the Ninth and Wadsworth's of the Fifth. Hancock had been so strengthened that now he had with him nearly one-half the army.
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