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[531] McLaws back quite half a mile behind, and to the south of the Dunkard church. There a country road branches from the turnpike towards the Keedysville Bridge, which is cut into the ground by long use, and has strong fences of stone or rail on either side. It is described in reports as the Sunken Road, but is now known on the field of Sharpsburg as the Bloody Lane. Rodes and Anderson were in the road, and with them, probably, some of the men from Ripley, Colquitt and Garland, who had been driven from the field. French came on in three lines, but was stopped by the Sunken Road, until Col. Barlow, with the Sixty-first and Sixty-fourth New York, of Richardson's divison, wheeled suddenly at right angles to the road, thus obtaining an enfilading fire, and drove the Confederates out, with a loss of prisoners and battle-flags. French and Richardson were driving in the centre, and no organized troops were left to oppose them. Just then General Jackson came up to a battery that was in rear of Hill's line, and asked why they were not engaged. It was Branch's. ‘No orders and no supports,’ was the reply. ‘Go in at once,’ was the curt rejoinder. ‘You artillery men are too much afraid of losing your guns.’ At this time R. H. Anderson, from the right, with 3,500 men, reported. He formed a second line, but was soon wounded. Pleasanton added two batteries and five battalions of regulars to the force across the Keedysville Bridge, and poured a destructive fire into the Confederate flank and rear. Richardson and French pressed steadily on. McLaws was used up, Hill had no organized troops left, R. H. Anderson was shattered to pieces. A firmly held force could have marched straight into Sharpsburg.

But, after reaching a point between Lee's right and left wings, the Federal advance stopped. McClellan, meantime, had hurried Franklin's Sixth corps to the support of Sumner, but the latter, after the terrible disaster to Sedgwick, and the great loss to French and Richardson, was unwilling to risk another corps, because, as he said, a fresh body of troops was necessary to protect them from Jackson's attack. D. H. Hill, in the meantime, had rallied a few hundred men and led them against Richardson. They were dispersed and driven back. Colonels Iverson and Christie had likewise gathered about two hundred men of three or four North Carolina regiments and with them attacked French's flank but were also driven back. John R. Cooke, with his North Carolina regiment, held his place with empty muskets, his ammunition exhausted, and waved his battle-flag in the face of the advancing lines. He stood fast with not a cartridge. This boldness appears to have halted the Federal advance on the

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