with this advancing host, but its lines closed up and swept forward, their right extending across the Hagerstown turnpike
, their thirty guns answering those of the Confederates
, from the high Poffenberger ridge, while twenty long range guns roared in enfilade from across the Antietam
's cannon made reply from the Nicodemus ridge
, as did Jackson
's from the center and S. D. Lee
's twenty-six from the swell in the open fields in front of the Dunker church.
's ever-brave Georgians fiercely contended with and held back Hooker
's left, in the East
woods and in the 30-acre cornfield, but the advantages of position enabled the Federals
to force back Jackson
's division into the woods, but still hanging to and pivoting on Early
's. There, rallying behind the trees and projecting rocks and facing eastward, it repulsed the attack led by Doubleday
, with his 550 Louisianians, moved to the support of Lawton
, in the cornfield, and one of the most stubborn and hotly contested of recorded engagements there took place.
The Confederates were forced back, by weight of numbers, but contesting every inch of ground and leaving the big cornfield fairly covered with their dead and wounded and those of the enemy.
's courageous Texans, at the moment of peril, rushed forward from the Dunker church, with a wild yell, leaving their breakfast beside their camp-fires, to sustain Lawton
in the unequal contest, while three of D. H. Hill
's brigades were hastened by Lee
from his center to extend Hood
's right and fall upon the flank of Hooker
's oncoming left.
These well-put, right-handed blows forced Hooker
's battle-broken ranks from the field of combat with great slaughter; nearly one-fourth of his men having fallen under the withering fire of the impetuous Confederates.
His routed men found refuge behind their guns and Mansfield
's corps, which was advancing, in echelon, on his left.
Nearly half of Jackson
's men had fallen in their line of battle, in the open and across the cornfield, while hundreds of them, stiff in death, still stood in silent skirmish line along the rail fence on the north front of the big cornfield; but the other half of his war-worn but unconquerable veterans closed up and grimly awaited the second Federal attack, which they saw approaching.
' old corps, that Jackson
's men had so often met, now under Mansfield
, had bivouacked, late in the night of