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[347] clearing, on the side of Sharpsburg; Dunker Church was occupied, as well as the intersection of the two roads, and the Confederates were driven in disorder across the wide open fields extending beyond. The success of the Federals seemed decisive; the position they had just gained was the key to the battle-field; but it was far in advance of the rest of the Federal line, and in occupying it Sedgwick had exposed his flanks. On the right he was somewhat covered by the woods and by Doubleday, but on the left a large space separated him from Green, whose division, reduced to a handful of men, could no longer afford him a very firm support. The two other divisions of Sumner had not yet made their appearance on the battle-field. The Confederates this time were the first to receive reinforcements. McLaws, with his own division and Walker's brigade, five thousand or fifty-five hundred men in all, arrived at last from Sharpsburg by the Hagerstown turnpike. Before approaching Dunker Church he encountered scattered groups of fugitives and wounded. These were the debris of Jackson's and Hood's divisions, that Sedgwick had just driven out of the wood. McLaws, without losing a moment, hurled Kershaw's brigade into the unoccupied space, which, as we have just said, separated Sedgwick's positions from those of Green, and supported this attack with all his troops. His right met the second of these two generals, and soon compelled him to lose ground; his left threw itself upon Sedgwick's flank, taking him almost in reverse. The latter caused his third brigade, under Howard, to face about, but it was too late. Before they were able to perform this dangerous movement, Howard's soldiers were received by a terrible fire which threw them into confusion. The first brigade of Williams' division, commanded by Crawford before he was wounded, had been posted so as to support Howard; it was carried along with him. The disorder soon reached Sedgwick's two other brigades, which already believed themselves turned and surrounded. Despite the efforts of the general, who had been wounded three times without quitting his post, these troops abandoned Dunker Church and the adjoining woods, which had been so dearly won a short time before. Williams' second brigade, under Gordon, returned to the charge, and penetrated once more into these woods, under favor of a clearing off of the

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