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[324] Hooker's and Palmer's corps and Newton's division of Howard's, perhaps 30,000 to 35,000 men, partly north of Peachtree creek. Hood embraced the opportunity to strike with the two corps of Hardee and Stewart, and ordered a carefully planned attack at 1 o'clock on the 20th. Hardee and Stewart were each to hold a division in reserve, and move forward the other divisions, commencing on Hardee's right, successively in echelon at intervals of some 200 yards, to attack the enemy, drive him back to the creek, and then press down the stream to the west. Should the enemy be found intrenched, his works were to be carried, everything on the south side of the creek was to be taken, and crossing to the north side was to depend on the success of the battle. This well planned but hazardous assault failed by one of those incidents which often occur in battle. It happened that Cheatham was compelled to withdraw a division from his left to meet Schofield, and Hardee and Stewart were instructed to close to the right far enough to cover the space vacated. At 1 o'clock Hardee began the change eastward and found that Cheatham's flank was two miles distant, and Hood being in Atlanta, he felt impelled to strictly obey orders. Stewart, believing that the change was not important, and that the attack should be made at once, attempted to obtain orders from the commanding general for immediate advance. ‘The result was,’ continues Stewart, ‘that to keep up connection with the other corps, my line moved fully a mile and a half or two miles to the right, and my right division did not move forward following the one on its right in the prescribed order until near 4 o'clock.’ When the forward movement finally began, Stewart sent into the field the divisions of Loring on the right and Walthall in the center; French, on the left, being held in supporting distance.

Loring had but two brigades, Featherston's and Scott's, numbering 2,700 men, and charged a ridge on

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