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[351] 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 woods, Mansfield 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, Ripley, Colquitt and Garland, 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. Mansfield fell, on the north side of the East woods, at the beginning of his advance, and Williams took command. Thinking to avoid again joining issue with Jackson, Williams ordered Greene'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 and Jackson'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 Mansfield and driven them from the field.

Although Lee 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

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