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[124] promptly ordered the division at the bridge to face to the rear and attack the enemy. This force was under Egan, than whom no soldier was better fitted for his task. With the instinct of a commander, he had already changed front, and was in motion against the enemy before Hancock's order arrived. The rebels had also attacked the left and front of the Second corps as well as Gregg's cavalry, but they did not comprehend the position, and had not known of the gap between Hancock and Crawford. Their main attack was intended to be made at the bridge and against Hancock's left, but finding the difficulty of carrying the bridge, they crossed the stream below, and thus struck the right of the Second corps, in the air.

Egan's prompt action, however, took them in flank, and sweeping down with resistless force, he hurled them back in confusion, capturing nine hundred prisoners and several stands of colors. The fight was altogether outside of works, and for a time was severe, but the repulse of the rebels was complete. The victory was due in great measure to the personal exertions of Hancock and Egan, their skill, decision, and gallantry, but every effort of the commanders was more than seconded by their soldiers. Meanwhile, Gregg, on the left, though vigorously attacked by Hampton's cavalry, had also been able to hold his own.

Meade was at Armstrong's mill when he heard of this engagement, and he at once directed Warren to send a division to support the Second corps. Crawford, it was thought, would not be able to reach the field in time, and Ayres, who was at Armstrong's mill, began his march at once; but

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