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[357]

That some weighty design was in preparation by the enemy was throughout the morning evident; for after the struggle had ceased on the right there was for some hours a deep silence. During all this time the Confederates were placing in position heavy masses of artillery. Lee, less sanguine than the day before, knew well that his only hope lay in his ability, first of all, to sweep resistance from the slopes before the assaulting columns moved forward. By noon a hundred and forty-five guns were in position along the ridge occupied by Longstreet and Hill. At one o'clock the ominous silence was broken by a terrific outburst from this massive concentration of the enginery of war. Ample means for a reply in kind were at hand; for General Hunt, the chief of artillery, had crowned the ridge along the left and left centre, on which it was manifest the attack was to fall, with eighty guns—a number not as great as that of the enemy, but it was all that could be made effective in the more restricted space occupied by the army.1 Withholding the fire until the first hostile outburst had spent itself, General Hunt then ordered the batteries to open; and thus from ridge to ridge was kept up for near two hours a Titanic combat of artillery that caused the solid fabric of the hills to labor and shake, and filled the air with fire and smoke and the mad clamor of two hundred guns. During this outburst the troops crouched behind such slight cover as they could find; but the musket was tightly grasped, for each man knew well what was to follow—knew that this storm was but the prelude to a less noisy, yet more deadly shock of infantry. When, therefore, after the duel had

1 In the cemetery were placed Dilger's, Bancroft's, Eakin's, Wheeler's, Hill's, and Taft's batteries, under Major Osborne. On the left of the cemetery the batteries of the Second Corps, under Captain Hazard—namely, those of Woodruff, Arnold, Cushing, Brown, and Rorty. Next on the left was Thomas's battery, and on his left Major McGilvray's command, consisting of Thompson's, Phillips', Hart's, Sterling's, Ranks', Dow's, and Ames' of the reserve artillery, to which was added Cooper's battery of the First Corps. On the extreme left, Gibbs' and Rittenhouse's (late Hazlitt's) batteries. As batteries expended their ammunition, they were replaced by batteries of the artillery reserve, sent forward by its efficient chief, Colonel R. O. Tyler.

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