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[352] and the first troops he sent to dislodge them were repulsed. Thinking, then, that a great blow could and must be struck in that direction to ensure victory, Franklin massed the whole of Slocum's division in the rear of Dunker Church, and prepared to make a vigorous attack upon the Confederate left wing. It was one o'clock. The divisions of French and Richardson, without quitting their positions, occupied the enemy with a spirited fire of musketry, during which the latter of these two generals fell mortally wounded—a cruel loss, especially at this moment, for, in spite of his somewhat rough manners, Richardson knew how to make his soldiers love him, while his intrepid courage urged them forward at the trying moment. The support of artillery was wanting on this side, where only a few pieces had succeeded in coming into battery. More to the left, Pleasanton's cannon had enabled Porter to take possession of the bridge of the Keedysville road, and to cross it with six battalions of regular infantry, who came to support the mounted batteries of the cavalry division. Burnside, urged again by McClellan, who had sent a superior officer to him with instructions to see that his orders were strictly carried out, was at last roused from his inaction. We dwell upon this delay not only because it made McClellan lose all the fruits of his victory, but especially as illustrating the difficulties which in those improvised armies a general-in-chief encountered in endeavoring to secure the success of his combinations—an example which is the more remarkable because Burnside was a personal friend of McClellan, an extremely brave officer and a loyal man, who at Roanoke had displayed true military capacity.

It was about one o'clock when he finally decided to make a great effort to carry the passes of the Antietam. The bridge, on the Confederate side of the river, was commanded by an acclivity, on the summit of which some parallel wall fences formed excellent parapets for its defenders. The fire of Longstreet's entire artillery was concentrated upon this point; hence it is that the partial attacks which had been made to force a passage had invariably failed. But when Burnside pushed forward the four splendid regiments of General Ferrero at once, supported by a considerable force, the small Confederate brigade of Toombs was unable to withstand them. The assailants left two hundred men upon the

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