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[138]

Sharpsburg.

At Sharpsburg, the last, as in every previous engagement, in which D. H. Hill participated with that army, no figure was more conspicuous and no line firmer than his. As usual he was the first to open and the last to quit the fight. General Lee said in his report (Series 1, Vol. XIX, part 1, pages 249, 250): ‘The attack on our left was speedily followed by one in heavy force on the centre. This was met by part of Walker's division and the brigades of G. B. Anderson and Rodes, of D. H. Hill's command, assisted by a few pieces of artillery. The enemy were repulsed and retired behind the crest of a hill from which they kept up a desultory fire. At this time, by a mistake of orders, General Rodes' brigade was withdrawn from its position during the temporary absence of that officer at another part of the field. The enemy immediately passed through the gap thus created, and G. B. Anderson's brigade was broken and retired, General Anderson himself being mortally wounded. * * * The heavy masses of the enemy again moved forward, being opposed by only four pieces of artillery, supported by a few hundred men belonging to different brigades, rallied by General D. H. Hill and other officers, and parts of Walker's and R. H. Anderson's commands, Colonel Cooke, of the Twenty-seventh North Carolina regiment, of Walker's brigade, standing boldly in line without a cartridge.’ At this critical moment, when the enemy was advancing on Cooke, says General Longstreet, ‘A shot came across the Federal front plowing the ground in a parallel line, then another and another, each nearer and nearer their line. This enfilade fire was from a battery on D. H. Hill's line, and it soon beat back the attacking column.’ (2 Battles and Leaders of the Civil War, page 670.)

On the right General Lee was stationed in person, and with Toombs' brigade (says General Longstreet) held the enemy in check till A. P. Hill's division rushed to the rescue with Pender on the right and Branch on the left of his line, and aided by well-directed shots from a battery planted by D. H. Hill on his front, drove them back in confusion. (2 Battles and Leaders of the Civil War, page 670.) Generals Lee, Longstreet, and D. H. Hill concluded during a short suspension of musketry fire to reconnoiter the position of the enemy from the crest of a ridge in front of the Confederate line, which was formed behind a fence. Lee and Longstreet, giving General


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D. H. Hill (6)
James Longstreet (4)
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