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[349] which was to give it a great importance in such a struggle. Between the Roulette farm and the Piper house extends a range of hills, some covered with wood, others with fenced corn-fields, and separated by deep ravines. It was between these hillocks, and occasionally along their sides, that the hollow way wound.

French and Richardson soon encountered Hill's soldiers near the Roulette farm. It was half-past 10, the very moment when Sedgwick was sustaining the attack of McLaws at Dunker Church. The battle was therefore once more raging along the whole Federal right. On the left still the same silence. Burnside had not stirred. Sumner listened in vain, hoping every moment to hear from that direction the sound of the attack which was to divert the enemy's attention. McClellan in vain sent his lieutenant orders more and more precise, directing him to act at once and with all his forces. The battle was still confined to the right. Lee took advantage of this to detach another division from Longstreet's corps, and sent R. H. Anderson to oppose French and Richardson, whose progress had become menacing. Longstreet was thus charged with the defence of the whole line of the Antietam with a single division, that of James, numbering at the most from four to five thousand men.

While Anderson was uniting with the tired troops of Hill to attack Richardson, McLaws, abandoning the idea of looking for Sedgwick in the wood, to which he had fallen back, and unable to maintain himself in the clearing, where his soldiers were too much exposed, threw himself upon French's right flank, which had been uncovered by the retreat of Sedgwick and Green, but failed to break it. Farther on, along the Federal left, the Irish brigade resisted all the assaults of the Confederates with uncommon energy. Its commander, General Meagher, was wounded. He was replaced by Colonel Burke, who led his countrymen with equal intrepidity and coolness. Following their usual tactics, the Confederates massed all their forces for a sudden attack, sometimes on one point of the enemy's line, sometimes on another, taking advantage of the intervals which the battle had opened between the different brigades composing it. But a warm reception awaited them at every point, and the Federals soon resumed the advantage. The Roulette farm was occupied, the range of

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Sedgwick (3)
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