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 up its first advantage against the right. It was one of those critical situations which a moment will decide—the decision, in fact, depending on gaining the advantage of the first volley. With quick self-possession, McCoy wheeled his forward companies into line, and secured the first fire. One of McCoy's men seized the Confederate commander by the collar and dragged him in, and the Eighty-third poured into the flank and rear of the hostile brigade a volley which sent it back in disorder through the woods. The repulse of the enemy at all points on Warren's front was now complete, and nearly a thousand prisoners were taken. Warren's entire loss was not above three hundred and fifty in killed and wounded. I pass now from Warren on the right to Hancock on the left, where that officer had to carry the passage of the river against considerable opposition. Hancock's point of passage, as already seen, was the Chesterfield or County Bridge, a mile above the railroad crossing of the North Anna. Here the Confederates had constructed a tete-de-pont on a tongue of land formed by Long Creek and the North Anna. Covering the bridge on the north side was an extended redan, with a wet ditch in front, the gorge being commanded by rifle-trenches in the rear. On the southern bank, which dominates the northern, was a similar work.1 The tongue of land to be overpassed in carrying the bridge-head was a bare and barren plain several hundred yards in width, ascending sharply towards the enemy's position, which, as it turned out, was held by a part of McLaws' division of Longstreet's corps. Birney's division of Hancock's corps was assigned the duty of carrying the work and bridge. To cover the storming party, Colonel Tidball, chief of artillery of the corps, placed in position three sections, which replied with effect to the enemy's fire. An hour before sundown, the assault was made by the brigades of Pierce and Egan, that, under a
1 These works were built the year previous, about the time of the battle of Chancellorsville
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