had taken the wrong one, and finding out his mistake had countermarched, but did not reach the field of battle until late in the day. A. P. Hill
were held in reserve, and it was useless for Holmes
to attack the intrenched bluff before him bristling with heavy guns and well guarded by numerous nearby gunboats.
There were but few available positions for Lee
's artillery, but these Jackson
availed himself of; on the left with the batteries of Balthis
, while on the right those of Grimes
, first put in, were soon driven back and their places taken by Davidson
None of these could long withstand the fury of the concentrated fire of the seventy guns that swept the slope in front of the Federal
Forming his men in the edge of the forest and on the borders of the swamp, Lee
ordered his front line, under Huger
, D. H. Hill
, to move against the enemy.
's brigade, on the right, was to take the initiative, with a yell and a rush.
The assault was not simultaneous.
D. H. Hill
alone advanced, with his own yell, but Armistead
did not. Later, Magruder
fiercely contended to reach the Federal
left, but Huger
failed to support him vigorously, and although he shook Porter
's line so that that brave fighter called for reinforcements, Magruder
was compelled to retire under the storm of canister and musketry that swept the open slope up which he was leading his brave men. D. H. Hill
's assault upon the Federal
center was bold and brave, and caused Couch
's line to stagger; but Whiting
, not hearing Hill
's signal, failed to move to his assistance, while the near-at-hand Federal reserves swarmed to the aid of Couch
and drove Hill
back with great slaughter.
hurried forward reinforcements, but to no purpose, for night put an end to the battle before they could join in the issue, leaving him holding only his first position and to mourn the loss of 5,000 killed and wounded of his brave and fearless soldiery.
Some of his division commanders had failed to comprehend his orders, and so were late in reaching the field of action; others had failed to advance at the appointed time, and so the attack was irregular, and therefore not forceful.
The tangled forests and swamps through which he had to advance, greatly hindered the tactical disposition of his troops, so that he only succeeded in bringing fourteen brigades into