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[66] reached the opposite shore at nightfall. Sumner had not waited for his arrival to move forward with his first division. He had just overtaken Couch, who had been driven back on the right of Fair Oaks with a portion of his troops, and had barely time to deploy to receive the shock of Smith's corps, which was about to debouch in the large clearing. Kirby's battery enfiladed an open space leading to Nine Mile road; Sumner placed one brigade and a half on the right, fronting Old Tavern; on the left the remainder of Sedgwick's division was disposed en potence parallel to the railroad, which the enemy had just occupied. Even before these dispositions were fully carried out, the battle was furiously engaged. Smith was in haste to make up for lost time, and believed himself sure of success; Whiting, who commanded three brigades of this corps, debouched on the salient angle formed by the Federal line; but being received by a terrible fire from Kirby's guns, he halted on the skirt of the wood. After a brisk fire of musketry, the Confederates made a new attempt to carry this battery, which occupied the key of the position, and had interrupted their turning movement. Johnston, rushing in person into the thickest of the fight, hurled Pettigrew's brigade against it. It advanced fearlessly up to the cannon's mouth; but the Federal gunners, anxious to avenge the memory of Bull Run, where this same Johnston had captured their pieces, coolly waited for the assault of the Confederate brigade, which they decimated at short range. It was driven back in disorder, leaving in the Federal hands its wounded commander, Pettigrew, and the ground strewed with dead bodies. Availing himself of this chance, Sumner assumed the offensive with his left, and drove the enemy back in the direction of Fair Oaks. Smith brought his reserve brigades into action in vain; he could barely hold the ground he occupied, and his forward movement was definitively checked. The Confederate army was, moreover, paralyzed at this moment by the loss of its commander-in-chief; Johnston had just been severely wounded and carried into Richmond. It was seven o'clock in the evening. Along the whole line the battle had degenerated into a musketry fire, which was continued pretty well into the night, but each party remained on the defensive. The check of Smith had, in fact, crippled the success of Longstreet on the Williamsburg road. The latter,

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