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[353]

Jackson had already driven the most of Greene's command from the wood at the church, by bringing Early around from his left and making an attack from the south on Sumner's exposed left flank To Grigsby, now commanding the Stonewall division, and to Early, were now joined the 6,500 fresh troops under McLaws, G. T. Anderson and Walker, and a sheeted and unerring fire from these tried veterans, from behind the rocks and oaks of the West woods, poured upon Sumner's front, left and rear. Nearly one-third of his 6,500 steady and brave men fell where they stood. His efforts to face his third line to the front were ineffectual. It moved to his right and rear, instead of to his left, and, carrying with it portions of his first and second lines, sought safety behind the Federal batteries, and soon the whole division melted away before the hot reception of the Confederates. Just then, at a little past 9 o'clock, the nearly 6,000 of French's division of Sumner's corps, moving still further to the Federal left, under shelter of the low ridge above Mumma's house, advanced to assault D. H. Hill, on the left of Lee's center, and a fierce combat took place along ‘the bloody lane,’ that turns to the eastward, about halfway between Hagerstown and the Dunker church, and ascends to the summit of the ridge between the Hagerstown road and the Antietam. D. H. Hill had sent three of his brigades against the left flank of Hooker and Mansfield. When he withdrew these, from Sumner's advance, he posted two of them, those of Rodes and Colquitt, in this lane, with G. B. Anderson on the right of Rodes. He had but 1,500 muskets and a park of artillery; but on his left, extending to the West woods, were about the same number from the commands of McLaws and Walker. Hill's left was along the Hagerstown turnpike and his right along ‘the bloody lane,’ so the two wings of his command were placed at right angles to each other. Into these open arms of as brave and steady veterans as ever shouldered a musket, advanced the front brigade of French. From Hill's left a terrific fire sent French's men, with heavy loss, to the rear. He then advanced a second line to meet Anderson in the lane, but the musketry from Hill's right soon drove these back, behind the shelter of the hill, where the remaining two-thirds of French's brigade sought safety, having left one-third of their number between the

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