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[351] it was Franklin, with the two divisions of the Sixth corps. Since ten o'clock in the morning his heads of column had appeared on the banks of the Antietam. McClellan had promptly sent him to the support of the right, and about half-past 12 he came into line.

This, then, was the situation of the Federals. Six divisions, which in the morning numbered thirty-one thousand men, had suffered so severely as to be unable to renew the contest. The battle was only sustained by two divisions and Pleasanton's artillery, about thirteen thousand men and twenty guns. In fine, eight divisions which in the morning numbered thirty-nine thousand men were under arms near the field of battle; and excepting a few regiments engaged by Burnside near the bridge, they had not as yet fired a single shot.

Lee, on his side, had sent Jackson's two divisions and that of Hood, decimated and disorganized. They were no more able to resume the offensive than their adversaries. McLaws and Walker had sustained on their side enormous losses in the fatal clearing, and were exhausted. After a prolonged struggle, D. H. Hill had been driven in disorder beyond the Piper house. R. H. Anderson had failed to break French's lines and was compelled to fall back before the well-sustained fire of Pleasanton's artillery. Longstreet had deployed the four brigades he still had at his command, to cover the whole Confederate right, and had only two thousand men left to oppose Burnside. Lee, therefore, had not a single available combatant, nor a battalion in reserve; and far from being able to take advantage of the exhaustion of a few Federal divisions to break the enemy's lines, he had the utmost difficulty in preserving his own.

Consequently, in order to contract his line, he had abandoned the ground so hotly disputed in the morning; his left wing had left Dunker Church, which was at once taken possession of by one of Smith's brigades sent by Franklin to that part of the field. The right brigade of the same division had come to rescue a battery which was in great peril on the Hagerstown pike; the third, on the left, had gone to the relief of French, who was short of ammunition. Pushing forward, Smith finally encountered McLaws' soldiers in the woods adjoining Dunker Church,

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