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[104] that the attack on his front was not pressed with vigor, became satisfied that it was a mere feint, and that a column of the enemy was moving, masked by the Sudley woods, to fall on his left flank. He promptly informed General Cocke, his immediate commander, of the enemy's movement, and took the responsibility of making dispositions to meet it. Leaving four companies under cover at the stone bridge, which had been previously destroyed, he led six companies of the Fourth South Carolina riflemen and Wheat's battalion of Louisiana Tigers, with two 6-pounder howitzers, across the valley of Young's branch to the high ground called Matthews' hill (on the divide between that branch and one parallel to it on the north, facing the Henry hill), about three-fourths of a mile north of the Warrenton road, and placed his men so as to meet the Federal advance by the Sudley road, on which he rested his left, planting one gun on his right and the other on his left. His front was covered by a small piece of woods extending along the Sudley road. Here he awaited the approach of the Federal column, which, led by Burnside's brigade, deployed in his front a little before 10 o'clock. Wheat at once engaged the Federal skirmishers, and when the second Rhode Island regiment and its six guns appeared, Evans met them with his South Carolinians and two howitzers, at short range, and drove them back. Burnside's entire brigade, supported by eight guns, was now sent forward in a second charge. These were met and driven back into the strip of woods from which they had advanced, and from which they continued to fire, until, reinforced by eight companies of United States regular infantry and six pieces of artillery, supported by other regiments of Porter's brigade, they advanced to a third attack, which Evans held in combat for about an hour. Major Wheat was severely wounded in the first attack, and, having to leave the field, his battalion became somewhat disorganized. During the third attack, which Evans was sustaining with great firmness, he called upon General Bee, who was in reserve with his own and Bartow's command near the stone bridge, for help. Bee, informed of the Federal movement, had already moved to the left following the sound of conflict, and taken position on the Henry hill, or plateau, to the south of the Warrenton turnpike. This hill commanded the stone bridge and the Sudley road

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Nathan G. Evans (3)
R. C. Wheat (2)
Burnside (2)
B. E. Bee (2)
Fitz John Porter (1)
P. St. George Cocke (1)
F. S. Bartow (1)
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