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[297] days, the attack of the Federals had been made by a single corps and on a single point, so that the enemy was able to oppose them with superior forces.

This was the moment the Confederate chief had been waiting for to assume the offensive along the whole line; and he did so with that ensemble which had always been wanting on the part of his adversaries. Siegel had scarcely deployed to cover Porter's retreat when Jackson's soldiers were already upon him in a furious attack.

Longstreet in his turn put his columns in motion, and a general engagement took place on the right and left of the main road. Siegel's small corps, reduced to six or seven thousand men, and King's division, weakened by the battle of the previous day, sustained the first shock of the battle. Ricketts, summoned in great haste from the right, came to their relief. Reynolds, on the left of the road, maintained himself with difficulty. It was no longer a question of pursuing the enemy, as Pope had ordered, but of resisting his assaults. Longstreet's entire corps, which had scarcely been in action the day previous, advanced to the attack of the Federal left on the other side of the road. Hood's two brigades, followed by that of Evans, gave the signal of attack along this road. Wilcox, with three Confederate brigades, deployed on his left, Kemper and then Jones, with their divisions, on his right. Anderson, who had arrived from Gainesville, supported this grand attack. While the battle was raging near Groveton, the extreme right of Longstreet, finding no enemy before it, proceeded toward the main road in order to cut the communications of the Federal army. The latter had extended and weakened its line in vain attempts to cover itself on that side; Reynolds, who was posted on Porter's left, had been detached a few hours before and ordered to occupy Bald Hill, which commanded the road; he had been reinforced by Ricketts and one of Siegel's brigades, so that there remained only about one thousand men, Warren's brigade of Porter's corps, to form the left centre of the Federals near Groveton. The young chief of this brigade, with that war instinct for which he was always distinguished, had not waited for orders to place himself at the most important point of the line, which Reynolds had stripped by moving toward Bald Hill. In

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