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[135] stone wall ran just below the crest of the hill a portion of the way, which was supplemented in places by earthworks, behind which the infantry lay, with another line on the crest in rear, so that the latter could fire over the heads of those on the slope in front. Infantry reserves were distributed at desirable points in rear of the crest, and at intervals on this part of the line were twenty-six guns of the second corps, so placed as to rake the ground to the front and sides.

A house and barn upon Hays' front was burned so as to afford unobstructed artillery fire. Besides the guns in front, additional guns were placed on the left, making according to General Hunt's estimate seventy-five guns on the western crest line.

To the right of Hancock a number of guns had been massed on the preceding day. Major Osborne reports that thirty-two were sent him, among which were six twenty pound rifles, four ten pound rifles and sixteen three inch rifles, which he says were effectively used in replying to the Confederate guns, and in playing on the infantry as they advanced across the plain. On the Confederate side there was, according to General Pendleton, sixty guns engaged excluding howitzers, belonging to the first corps. In the third corps, excluding twelve pound howitzers and batteries in reserve, the number did not exceed forty-five. In addition, Ewell's corps contributed eighteen guns, making the whole number engaged on that side about one hundred and twenty-five guns, which was in excess of the number in use at any one time by their opponents.

The Federals had the advantage of higher ground and heavier metal. The Confederates were able to bring into action a greater number of pieces, and had the advantage of a convergent fire.

The plan of battle was, that the assault should be preceded by a heavy and concentrated artillery fire, directed upon the point of attack, which was expected to silence the opposing batteries, and so disorganize the infantry, that the assaulting column seizing the opportune moment should advance and pierce the enemy's main line, to be followed up by a general advance on the right and left of the assaulting column.

The success of the scheme depended in the first place upon

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Pendleton (1)
Osborne (1)
H. J. Hunt (1)
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Ewell (1)
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