the 16th, about a mile in Hooker
's rear; and now, at about half-past 7 of the morning of the 17th, it became the turn of that corps to take up the battle, from which, after a three hours contest, Hooker
had recoiled in complete defeat.
Forming his line near where Hooker
had first formed his, with his right resting on the Hagerstown
road and his left extending eastward through the East
advanced his two divisions, and the bloody conflict again raged across the cornfield and in the East and West woods; 3,600 Confederates, under Hood
, faced the 7,000 fresh Federals that advanced to the fight, aided by a mere handful of 300 of Hooker
's corps who had so. eagerly begun the battle in the early morning.
fell, on the north side of the East
woods, at the beginning of his advance, and Williams
Thinking to avoid again joining issue with Jackson
's division farther to the left, and, under cover of the low swell in front of the Dunker church and his Smoketown road, this division rushed forward, turned the Confederate
right, crossed the Hagerstown
road, and entered the eastern edge of the West
woods; but there its progress was stayed by Jackson
's men, in their natural fortress of forest and rocks, and Greene
was soon forced to retire and join his retreating comrades that Stuart
's left, especially Early
's unflinching one thousand, had driven from the field.
Thus far Jackson
, with his 7,600 veterans, had met and repulsed the 19,500 in the corps of Hooker
and driven them from the field.
was, by a previous accident, disabled in both his hands, and could only ride with his horse led by a courier, he had intently watched, from a rock, south of the Boonsboro
road, on the summit of the hill east of Sharpsburg
, the fierce contests on his left and at the same time had observed the movements of Burnside
on his right.
His eighty guns, in well chosen and commanding positions, had promptly responded to the still larger number of McClellan
beyond the Antietam
; his batteries in front of Sharpsburg
commanded the road leading toward Boonsboro
and held in check any Federal advance on his center.
Seeing that the weight of attack was being concentrated on his left, and knowing that Sumner
's veteran corps was following the defeated ones